2003 Haut Bailly
By Chateau Haut Bailly
2003 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
In the vibrant tapestry of Bordeaux vintages, the 2003 Haut Bailly stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Chateau Haut Bailly under the sweltering European summer of that year. This particular harvest brought forth wines characterised by their ripe opulence, a divergence from what one might consider quintessential claret restraint.
A Year That Tested Tradition
The astonishing heatwave that encapsulated much of Europe in 2003 had vineyard purists and enthusiasts alike brimming with apprehension regarding the potential implications for Bordeaux’s output. Yet, it is precisely in such extremities that meticulous viticulture and adept winemaking shine. The 2003 Haut Bailly navigated these climatic hurdles with aplomb, offering investors an atypical but highly rewarding wine.
Distinct Elegance in a Challenging Vintage
The wine reveals a deep garnet hue with an alluring bouquet combining ripe black fruits, particularly cassis, with a compelling layer of spice, earthy undertones, and tobacco – hallmarks of the esteemed gravel soils of Pessac-Leognan. On the palate, the 2003 vintage lavishes with richness yet does not forsake elegance; the typically firm tannins of Haut Bailly are rounded, offering an indulgent mouthfeel balanced by a robust structure indicative of its ageing potential.
Savouring this wine now or considering it as part of one's vinous investment portfolio should not be done lightly. It reflects a notable piece of viticultural history - showcasing how exceptional terroirs yield formidable results even when nature veers from its norm.
An Investment in Singular Craftsmanship
For collectors and investors alike, the 2003 Haut Bailly represents a singular expression of Chateau Haut Bailly's tenacious pursuit of quality amidst adversity. Its divergent profile not only provides intrigue to any fine wine collection but stands as a symbol of an estate's capacity for crafting wines that transcend expectations in the most challenging years.
The essence of investing in fine wine lies not solely in pursuing acclaimed vintages but also in recognizing those remarkable releases that tell a more dynamic story. The luxurious abundance wrapped in the refined composure of this wine ensures that the 2003 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly remains one such wise investment.
Current market price
Scores and tasting notes
The warm vintage of 2003 gives this loads of fruit, like raspberries and strawberry jam. Full-bodied and very fresh with soft, round tannins. A long and yummy wine. Delicious now but please wait to pull the cork until at least 2013.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, July 16th 2012
One can not say enough about the investments and commitment to quality instituted by Haut-Bailly's new American owner, Robert Wilmers, the head of the huge M&T bank conglomerate. The chateau's entire staff, headed by the talented Veronique Sanders (the granddaughter of one of the great gentlemen of Bordeaux, Daniel Sanders), reflects both enthusiasm and dedication. Powerful, fruit-driven, and big, the 2003 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with a sweet perfume of lead pencil shavings intermixed with red and black currants, cherries, and forest floor. Boasting beautiful purity, medium to full body, and admirable glycerin as well as textural weight, it is an elegant, classic Bordeaux to drink between 2008-2020+.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #164 April 2006
Tasted at Bordeaux Index's '10-Year On' tasting in London. The 2003 Haut Bailly has a ripe raisin, fruitcake and leather scented bouquet with just a hint of eau-de-vie developing with time. The palate is well balanced with firm, ripe rounded tannins and very good volume. It is low in acidity as one would expect, but there are attractive earthy, gamey notes towards the finish that lend it some character. It just seems a little smudged compared to other vintages and there is a charred note on the aftertaste. Tasted March 2013.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013