Chateau Haut Bailly   Haut Bailly

1996 Haut Bailly

By Chateau Haut Bailly

1996 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Raised from the venerable soils of Pessac-Leognan, the 1996 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly emerges as a sterling exemplar of its vintage and pedigree. The terroir of Graves proffers an exquisite canvas, and the '96 season rendered a portrait awash with nuanced complexity. It is a vintage that invites connoisseurs and investors alike to delve into the depths of Bordeaux's vinous aristocracy.


A Testament to Tenacity: The 1996 Vintage

The year 1996 was characterised by its capricious climate, a tableau that demanded tenacity from vintners and vines. The early promise of warm June days gave way to July's soggy tempests but redeemed itself in a glorious Indian summer which prolonged well into September. It is this erratic itinerary that honed the flavours and tannins within the berries, leading to an impressive structure and remarkable ageing potential.


The Sophisticated Soiree of Sensory Delights

One finds within the glass an eloquent oration of blackcurrant, steeped in the woodland musk of truffle, cedar, and tobacco leaf. A hint of gravel - signature to the appellation - whispers beneath, grounding the wine in its birthright terroir. On the palate, the 1996 Haut Bailly balances with aplomb; tannins, precisely honed and supple, waltz with graceful acidity through to a lingering finish.

This vintage is an astute selection for those seeking robust investments—a true personification of the gravitas expected in fine wine investing.


In Vino Veritas: A Wine Narrative Wrought of Time and Terroir

The tale woven by this particular vintage is one of intricacy, whereby each sip reveals yet another layer—the seasoned investor recognises the 1996 Haut Bailly as a tome within their collection. It vibrates with a vitality that speaks not only of its own solemnity but as an enduring testament to the winemaking prowess intrinsic to Chateau Haut Bailly.

In summation, this artefact of '96 stands as a beacon for discerning collectors: resilient in structure, exquisite in character—an essential pylon in the edifice of any serious investor's portfolio. Its symphonic expression enhances with each passing annum, thrilling palates while underscoring Bordeaux's indomitable legacy.

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Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


This is certainly more opaque than the 1995 whilst the nose is more closed and dominated by the Cabernet Sauvignon: blackberry, cedar and a touch of pencil-lead. Good definition but a little broody when first poured from the bottle, but developing an espresso/dried orange peel aroma after 20 minutes. The palate has a firm structure, a certain smokiness on the middle, great definition but much more masculine than the 1995. Blackcurrant, a touch of briary and blueberry with a firm tannic, persistent finish. Good length. Still stubbornly backward, this is a superb, conservative Haut-Bailly that needs more cellaring. Drink 2012-2025. Tasted September 2007.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2008


Haut-Bailly's 1996 displays less charm than usual, but it does offer moderately intense red currant/cherry fruit combined with earth, smoke, and new oak. An elegant, medium-bodied wine with dry tannin in the finish, it will never be a heavyweight, but it possesses considerable personality and potential complexity. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2015.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999

Vintage performance