1997 Haut Bailly
By Chateau Haut Bailly
1997 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
The vintage of 1997 may not shine in the pantheon as one of Bordeaux's most acclaimed years, but therein lies the allure of uncovering remarkable exceptions. The 1997 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly stands as a testament to the prowess of a distinguished estate to transcend the vagaries of a challenging season.
Intrinsic Elegance Amidst Climatic Capriciousness
While '97 was ensnared by unseasonable weather, causing consternation amongst vintners aiming for perfection, Chateau Haut Bailly harnessed its consummate terroir and meticulous viticulture practices to craft a redolent exemplar. It is an oeuvre that encapsulates complexity and depth in spite of the year's whims.
This particular expression of Pessac-Leognan artistry extols a bouquet where tertiary notes are now gloriously unfurled alongside dark fruit remnants, while hints of cigar box and dried herb suggest a palette garnished with Old World charm. The 1997 Haut Bailly reveals a charm bearing eloquent testimony to an estate's competence in sculpting poise and grace from a season that demanded resilience.
Mature Sophistication: A Worthy Investment
A nuanced tapestry where once vivid tannins have transmuted into silken whispers, this Haut Bailly vintage is at its prime plateau of enjoyment. It serenades enthusiasts who appreciate serene maturity over boisterous youth. The wine's evolution, defying expectations from its birth year, underscores its investable potential for connoisseurs and collectors seeking to embellish their cellars with under-the-radar marvels.
Within the landscape of fine wine investment, the 1997 Haut Bailly is an adroit choice for those eschewing mere reputation for tangible quality – a dark horse imbued with finesse that provides a contemplative tasting journey back through the vestiges of one notable chateau's history.
A Resounding Recollection
The tenor of the 1997 vintage, as expressed through the deft hands at Chateau Haut Bailly, resonates with those who treasure wines that speak both of their time and beyond it. Here lies an offering that entices both palate and portfolio – a soulful rendition from a year marked by fortitude and subtle triumphs waiting to be rediscovered by discerning connoisseurs.
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Scores and tasting notes
A moderate garnet core. The nose is a step down from the aromatics of the 1996, but has a certain femininity and purity: black cherries, pencil box from your secondary school with just a hint of capsicum that becomes stronger with aeration. Also a touch of garrigue developing after 30 minutes. The palate has an attractive supple entry that eases you in to a surprisingly firm middle, yet again just pick-perfect acidity and a nice spicy quality developing with aeration. A hint of white pepper towards the mid-weight rather than lightweight finish with cherry, a touch of cranberry and spice. Drinking perfectly now and certainly a 1997 boxing above its weight. Drink now-2016. Tasted September 2007.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2008
Light to medium-bodied, with pleasant spicy tobacco and sweet black cherry/berry fruit, this low acid, delicate wine can be drunk now and over the next 6-7 years.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #128 April 2000