Haut Bailly 2002
Tasting Notes Haut Bailly 2002
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.
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.