Haut Bailly: style?

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Pat Martin
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Haut Bailly: style?

#1 Post by Pat Martin » January 2nd, 2019, 4:01 pm

With the ~2005 vintage, Haut Bailly suddenly became a Parker darling. Remember when that was a good thing, Parker ‘unearthing’ an under appreciated chateau? But by the 2005 vintage, I viewed these upgrades with considerable suspicion as they usually involved a new owner, the owner schmoozing Parker, and the owner hiring a fancy Libourne enologist with a weakness for stogies and micro-oxygenation. I am generally not a fan of such changes in a chateau’s style, like what happened at Pape Clement.

I don't know if this routine happened at Haut Bailly though, and the professional and Cellartracker tasting notes do not make the new and improved Haut Bailly sound like some Frankenwine. At worst, it sounds like it is a mid-modern wine stylistically, that really has improved without going to the Dark Side.

Those of you who have had Haut Bailly 2005–present, what’s the story?
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#2 Post by P L owet » January 3rd, 2019, 9:16 am

Bumping due to shared interest in responses.
I recall enjoying the 1996 version several years ago. I purchased some 2015 based on its old reputation + high scores (mea culpa) + not unreasonable price + ignoring actuarial realities.
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Dale Williams
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#3 Post by Dale Williams » January 3rd, 2019, 9:51 am

I've only had the 2008 a couple of times, liked a lot, didn't find spoofy at all, very balanced (but much tighter in mag than 750). Whether that holds true in uberripe vintages I don't know

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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#4 Post by Pat Martin » January 3rd, 2019, 10:10 am

Dale Williams wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 9:51 am
I've only had the 2008 a couple of times, liked a lot, didn't find spoofy at all, very balanced (but much tighter in mag than 750). Whether that holds true in uberripe vintages I don't know
Thanks, Dale, good to hear. I am looking at some 2014 for $65, so hopefully that's a safer bet vintage-wise.

Also curious about DDC-- have you had any newer vintages of DDC rouge (rogue from some of us) since, say, 2005-now? Three years ago, I found the 2009 DDC borderline sleek and international, but still probably a modern Bordeaux I can like.
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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#5 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 3rd, 2019, 11:05 am

Great post, would love to see some folks that know this estate so well, like Keith Levenberg and Mark G., chime in. I have heard it, like DCC, has moved more international in style, but I have not tried any since the 2005 vintage, which I thought was solid. I did buy 2008, 12 and 14. Some really solid 2014 vintage notes from folks on this board whose palates I respect, like Adrian, Brian G., Panos. Jeff Leve scores it very highly, which sometimes gives me pause given his preferences, but he does use the references to freshness, elegance and medium-bodied. I grabbed it at $50 in futures, but had I missed it, would like grab it for $65 as well. The vintage is a saver.

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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#6 Post by Mont Stern » January 3rd, 2019, 5:14 pm

About a year before Bob Wilmers death, I attended a vertical tasting where he also brought Veronique Sanders along. The take away was the consistency that Haut Bailly has obtained with his investment and leadership. The goal was not to make Parkerized wine but to bring it back to the glory days of the late 1800s and he had the deep pockets and vision to make it happen. By the time Parker became a fan, his team had been working for 7 years. We should be grateful that he didn't let Bob Rich persuade him to buy a professional sports team.

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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#7 Post by Neal.Mollen » January 4th, 2019, 4:24 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 11:05 am
Some really solid 2014 vintage notes from folks on this board whose palates I respect, like Adrian, Brian G., Panos [period full stop]. Jeff Leve scores it very highly
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#8 Post by Neal.Mollen » January 4th, 2019, 4:25 am

I've only had the 2014 a couple of times, but my take-away has been that it is a wine I will love in a decade. It's a wine that shows a little glass young, but suggests a more classic future, if that makes sense.
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#9 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 4th, 2019, 11:51 am

If I look at Bordeaux as a continuum between Uber traditional and spoofy, I would put Haut Bailly just a little towards the traditional side, and most to my taste in slightly green vintages. The 2008 is utterly brilliant, and the 2014 may be even better, both very much long term wines
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#10 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » January 4th, 2019, 12:26 pm

This was my note on the 2014. "Mid-modern" is probably an apt. descriptor, if not "sensible modern." I have since purchased one more bottle (for $64).

2014 Château Haut-Bailly - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (2/10/2018)
-- decanted immediately before tasting --
-- tasted a couple pours non-blind over approx. 1.5 hours --

Another 2014 winner. Much more open/accessible than one would normally expect from this Chateau at such a young age. Good acidity, but I wouldn't go so far as to say "flashy." Dark-fruited (purple, not red, fruits). Medium to medium+ concentration of fruit. Surprisingly tame tannins, which makes this surprisingly drinkable now. I see this as a wine that will age well over the following 20 years, and *maybe* 30, but I bet it hits its sweet spot around the 15 to 20 year window. Perhaps a bit too loose and unfocused to garner a "wow" reaction, but this is still solidly excellent. Gut impression score: 92 - 93.
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#11 Post by Jim F » January 4th, 2019, 12:58 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
January 4th, 2019, 11:51 am
If I look at Bordeaux as a continuum between Uber traditional and spoofy, I would put Haut Bailly just a little towards the traditional side, and most to my taste in slightly green vintages. The 2008 is utterly brilliant, and the 2014 may be even better, both very much long term wines
That seems to me to be a good call, although I do not have a lot of experience with Haut Bailly. Thinking back, it was probably the RP hype that I noticed at first. I have, and have had that 2008, and It is very good, I would even consider it a bit restrained, with further development coming. I tasted the ‘14 only once, at a tasting, and liked it enough to cellar some.
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Pat Martin
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Re: Haut Bailly: style?

#12 Post by Pat Martin » January 4th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Thanks for the feedback, all. Sounds encouraging, I’ll grab some 2014 for $65.
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