2009 Chateau Haut Bailly Pessac Leognan

Category: France SKU: 13304 Size: 750 ml
Brand: Chateau Haut Bailly
Region: Bordeaux - Pessac Leognan
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Blend Style: Red Wine
Ship/Pickup Class: A, L
Ratings: RP 98+ WS 94 NM 92-94
Price: $199.99
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2009 Chateau Haut Bailly Pessac Leognan

Reviews

Robert Parker 98+ Points

A dense ruby/purple-tinged color offers up notes of forest floor, subtle wood smoke, mulberries, black cherries, cassis and a hint of lead pencil shavings. There is even a floral component lurking in the intricate aromatic profile. The wine is medium to full-bodied with wonderful intensity that builds incrementally and has a long, silky, luscious finish. There is plenty of tannin, but it is largely concealed by the wine’s beautiful fruit and ethereal complexity. Given its virtually perfect balance, this brilliant Haut-Bailly should age effortlessly for 3-4 decades.

This is a tour de force in winemaking, particularly for readers seeking the quintessential example of a Bordeaux that combines compelling complexity and finesse with significant flavor authority and intensity. I suppose we could see this coming as American owner, Robert Wilmers, along with his winemaker/manager, Veronique Sanders, continue to push the envelope. Yields were extremely low in 2009, and the final blend was an intriguing concoction of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It came in just under 14% natural alcohol, which makes it among one of the more powerful Haut-Baillys produced. However, power is not the hallmark of this wine. This terroir is known to produce relatively light wines, and by reducing yields and picking riper fruit, Wilmers and Sanders have achieved a level of concentration and intensity that is unprecedented for Haut-Bailly. That said, they have not lost any of these wines’ stunning elegance, finesse or aromatic complexity.

Wine Spectator 94 Points

Offers a rich, very dense feel, but stays racy thanks to a strong graphite frame around the core of roasted fig, plum sauce and maduro tobacco. Muscular but defined on the finish, with a long tarry edge in reserve. This shows serious depth and is more backward than most of its peers. Should really stretch out nicely in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2035.—J.M.

Neal Martin's Wine Journal 92-94 Points

Tasted at the chateau, the sample taken 16th March from a pre-blend of the Merlot and three lots of Cabernet (probably no pressed wine this year) and a second sample at a negociant. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc with 55% new barrels. A very deep garnet/black colour. This has a very refined nose of blackcurrant, raspberry, wild hedgerow, a nice minerality all with very good delineation but very tightly wound at the moment: this really does demand coaxing from the glass. With further aeration, that minerality is really coming through nicely (much more so than at the chateau!) The palate is full-bodied with a soft entry, grippy tannins, structure on the entry, dense black ripe fruit with an underlying stoniness. It is the follow through, like a wave crashing onto the back palate that really marks this wine out, with very fine persistency and minerality towards the finish. Silky and slightly creamy in texture towards the finish. Superb. Tasted April 2010.

Jancis Robinson 16.5/20 Points

Firm, aromatic. Certainly not forced and nicely balanced but I think I stick with my initial impressions that this is not an absolute standout - just very respectable indeed, as usual.

Decanter 18.5/20 Points

Dense purple red, quite rich cassis fruit with fragrant wild roses concentration, great clarity, depth and precision over succulently ripe vineyard fruit, still quite reserved, a wine of undeniable beauty and class. Drink 2015-30.