2002 Haut Bailly
By Chateau Haut Bailly
2002 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
In the robust landscape of Bordeaux, certain vintages rise to the fore with their unique story and impressive longevity. The 2002 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly is one such narrative spun from the luscious terroirs of Pessac-Leognan.
A Vintage That Defied Expectations
The year 2002 presented challenges for Bordeaux winemakers, with a damp, cool season that paled in comparison to the remarkable zeniths of 2000 and 2001. Yet, it is precisely in such testing vintages that the true artistry of winemaking emerges. The 2002 Haut Bailly stands as a testament to this craftsmanship—a vintage that exudes elegance and a quieter confidence than many of its contemporaries.
An Investible Panache
At just over two decades old, the wine showcases a maturity that pairs beautifully with its intrinsic vigour. The characteristic gravely soils of Pessac-Leognan have imprinted an earthy complexity into the wine which, mingled with the softened tannins and retained acidity, create an enthralling tapestry for investment-engaged connoisseurs. On the nose, there's a delicate entwining of raspberry notes and subtle hints of cedar that set the stage for a palate where fruit and forest floor amalgamate with effortless finesse.
While investment in fine wines can often be driven by headlines or ratings, there is an intimate allure to discovering underappreciated gems like the 2002 Haut Bailly. This undisputed charm renders it an attractive prospect for those seeking to diversify with poise within their portfolio.
Savoir-Faire Meets Singular Sophistication
The drinking window for this adept performer remains accommodating; its gracefulness extends an invitation to both immediate enjoyment and further cellaring potential. A considered acquisition of this calibre translates not only into dividends of taste but also tangible growth as maturity refines its worth.
The 2002 Haut Bailly reflects a year that required perseverance and skill, resulting in a wine distinguished by its singular sophistication—a perceivable strength beyond the shadow of great vintages. For the astute collector or investor, this offering encapsulates a slice of Bordeaux’s resilience and complexity within each elegantly evolving sip.
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Scores and tasting notes
An elegant, dark ruby/purple-tinged effort displaying notes of tobacco smoke intermixed with sweet currant, cherry, and some toast, this medium-bodied wine has the hallmark purity married graciously with nicely concentrated fruit. The tannins are sweet but present and give definition to this well-made Pessac-Leognan. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2016. This property is making impressive wines under the new administration of American Robert Wilmers backed up by his winemaking team led by Veronique Sanders. I have consistently had a tendency to underrate the wines young since they are relatively delicate, and that style hasn't changed, but there does seem to be more mid-palate and intensity than in the past. For example, I recently had both the 1998 and 2000 Haut-Bailly, and I would have rated them 93 and 91 respectively, which is higher than I had rated them in the past, adding to my belief that I consistently underestimate these wines.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #158 April 2005
Tasted at Berry Brother & Rudd's vertical. After rather conservative displays, this 2002 seems to be coming into its own. There is an estuarine quality on the nose: subtle notes of cockleshell and perhaps marshland that lend the rather austere nose character and personality. Very natural and well defined, this is a lovely bouquet. The palate is not quite as compelling as the nose, the tannins a little abrasive with age and the acidity sharp. The overall effect is of a slightly angular Haut Bailly approaching ten years of age, the archetypal gentleman's claret you could say. Showing some dryness towards the cedar finish, nevertheless, this is fine, if rather foursquare Haut Bailly. Tasted October 2011.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2013