2020 chateau haut-bailly cru classe, pessac-leognan
Why We're Buying
Château Haut-Bailly offers wine investors and connoisseurs a series of paradoxes. It's intricate yet balanced, direct yet gentle, immediate yet timeless. The one-of-a-kind Bordeaux red blend is a must-have amongst serious collectors.
This has incredible power and drive with blackberry, black olive and graphite. It’s full-bodied, yet dynamic and agile, with so much polished and muscular tannin. Yet, it remains in harmony and balance. So much character. The head of the chateau calls it diabolical beauty. 25% less production than the 2019. 52% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.
A legendary Haut-Bailly in the making, the 2020 sports a dense purple color to go with powerful notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, scorched earth, and graphite. Reminding me of the 2010, it takes plenty of air to show at its best yet is full-bodied, has a seamless texture, massive of ultra-fine tannins, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's one of the most structured, powerful Haut-Bailly I've ever tasted, yet it still has the classic elegance, nuance, and length of this terrific terroir. It will need 5-7 years (or more) of bottle age but will have 50 years of overall longevity. The 2020 is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 3% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
This wine's texture is exceptional, with powerful dark fruits and rich tannins blending seamlessly. All this density is cut with the finest spice and fresh acidity. The result is a wine that has both power and delicacy that gives a lift to the aftertaste. It will certainly age so well.
The 2020 Haut-Bailly was picked September 9–25 in what the estate has called the "year of reinvention." Having left my sample to open for 30 minutes and then assessed it over the following three hours, I found that it has a mercurial nose of gorgeous blackberry, briar, white pepper, incense and hints of blood orange. It gains intensity and becomes more floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but firm tannins that provide backbone. There is plenty of black fruit laced with white pepper and clove. Perhaps less rich on the finish compared to the last two vintages – a virtue as far as I am concerned, as it allows more terroir to show through. This is an impressive Haut-Bailly to coincide with their new winery, which I hope to visit very soon. –Neal Martin
Rich in texture and colour, this has clear layers and complexity, a wine that you want to take your time with, slow down and enjoy. One that will take its time to age also. This has a precision and a clarity to the aromatics, and a gentle buzz of minerality that gives a physical reaction in the mouth. Less exuberant than the 2018 or 2019, making this a vintage that suits the style of Haut-Bailly. A slight austerity to the tannins on the finish gives a blueberry redcurrant edge. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend (now around eight years old), usually co-fermented with the Cabernet Sauvignon (sometimes with Cabernet Franc). IPT similar to 2016, 2010, 2005, but with a softness that comes from extremely ripe tannins. Strong potential for upscoring when it bottle.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Haut-Bailly was harvested from the 9th to 25th of September. It has an alcohol of 14.3%. Deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with naturally beautiful notions of fresh black cherries, violets, mulberries and boysenberries, giving way to hints of redcurrant jelly, star anise, tilled soil and menthol. The medium to full-bodied palate is delicately crafted with velvety/grainy tannins and fantastic freshness framing the perfumed red and black berry layers, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note.