2009 Haut Bailly
By Chateau Haut Bailly
2009 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
The 2009 vintage from Chateau Haut Bailly is a marvellous example of the illustrious winemaking heritage nested within Pessac-Léognan. The resplendent year bestowed upon this estate a crop that was both opulent and meticulously sculpted. It is within the bottle of the 2009 Haut Bailly that we witness a harmonious encapsulation of climatic serendipity and vinicultural prowess.
An Exemplary Display of Nature's Favour
The year 2009 was lauded for its near-perfect conditions in Bordeaux, painting broad strokes of ripeness and depth across the canvas of its red wines. In this particular offering, we are privy to a treasure trove of sensory experience - a blend cradling the essence of rich, dark fruits with an enigmatic hint of smoke and cigar box that only esteemed parcels like those of Chateau Haut Bailly can murmur.
The Jewel in the Crown of Pessac-Léognan
The seductive palate profiles inherent in the 2009 Haut Bailly are amplified by an ageing regimen steeped in subtlety and finesse. Fine-grained tannins lace each sip while the classic juxtaposition of power and elegance common to Chateau Haut Bailly is especially pronounced. One tastes the gravelly earthiness typical to the appellation's terroir, laced with a ribbon of minerality which suggests longevity and poise.
As an investment piece, the 2009 Haut Bailly holds significant allure. Its balanced structure and profound complexity speak to its value not only as a beverage but as a bastion of fine wine stewardship. This vintage embodies a fetching melody that resounds with notes of liquidity and aged grace.
In Vino Veritas: A Vintage to Cherish and Savour
In conclusion, when one deliberates upon the myriad offerings from Bordeaux's revered vintners, there is no doubt that the 2009 Haut Bailly sits amongst the most spellbinding narratives composed in that year. Here we have evidence not only of a splendid climatic phenomenon but also of the masterful hands that shaped its fruits into a wine whose whisper will resonate across decades. To sip is to understand; to hold is to anticipate – such is the dual promise held by this exemplar from Chateau Haut Bailly.
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Scores and tasting notes
A dense ruby/purple-tinged color offers up notes of forest floor, subtle wood smoke, mulberries, black cherries, cassis and a hint of lead pencil shavings. There is even a floral component lurking in the intricate aromatic profile. The wine is medium to full-bodied with wonderful intensity that builds incrementally and has a long, silky, luscious finish. There is plenty of tannin, but it is largely concealed by the wine’s beautiful fruit and ethereal complexity. Given its virtually perfect balance, this brilliant Haut-Bailly should age effortlessly for 3-4 decades. This is a tour de force in winemaking, particularly for readers seeking the quintessential example of a Bordeaux that combines compelling complexity and finesse with significant flavor authority and intensity. I suppose we could see this coming as American owner, Robert Wilmers, along with his winemaker/manager, Veronique Sanders, continue to push the envelope. Yields were extremely low in 2009, and the final blend was an intriguing concoction of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It came in just under 14% natural alcohol, which makes it among one of the more powerful Haut-Baillys produced. However, power is not the hallmark of this wine. This terroir is known to produce relatively light wines, and by reducing yields and picking riper fruit, Wilmers and Sanders have achieved a level of concentration and intensity that is unprecedented for Haut-Bailly. That said, they have not lost any of these wines’ stunning elegance, finesse or aromatic complexity.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #199 February 2012
Aromas of blackberries, wet earth and mushrooms, follow through to a full body, with a solid core of fruit. Velvety and delicious, yet wonderfully structured. Muscular wine. Best ever? Try in 2018.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, February 14th 2012
Served blind at the Southwold 2009 tasting. The Haut-Bailly ‘09 has a sweet iodine-scented bouquet with pure creme de cassis and violets that is more Margaux than Graves, hints of black olive emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition. There is a lot of extraction here, lending this a more modern personality, with plenty of sweet rounded dark cherry and boysenberry fruit on the lithe finish. Tasted January 2013.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jul 2013