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Renowned as one of the world’s most elegant wines, the character of Château Haut-Bailly is a series of unlikely paradoxes. It is as complex as it is balanced: deliberate and discrete, powerful and gentle, immediate and timeless. The 2018 vintage in Bordeaux is one of the greatest seen this decade, Haut Bailly has reached new heights with this bottling.
James Suckling had nothing but positive words to say about the 2018 vintage "it’s safe to say that 2018 is a top vintage. I am certainly going to buy and drink some in the future. And I am sure you will too. The plush fruit and ripe tannins make so many of the wines attractive to drink young but they have the structure to age for a long time. It’s typical for a hot and dry year like 2009, 1989, 1982, and so on."
Château Haut-Bailly’s proud position tells a tale of enduring good fortune, perched atop the gentle slopes of Bordeaux's historic Graves region. Ancient archives prove that from as early as 1461 these lands were already recognized as excellent for the cultivation of vines. Centuries of commitment and unwavering conviction have established Haut-Bailly as a visionary estate.
Tasting Notes: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. This wine is dark and dense in the glass. The nose is full of big black fruit aromas showcasing dark berries and cassis. On the palate, this is plump and inviting, with a long-lasting finish.
Complex and expressive nose, offering red and dark fruit, spices and pepper with wood and mushroom undertones. Fresh mussel shell and a hint of ink, too. Full-bodied with a fine texture and great balance between the acidity and the controlled, tannic structure. Very long finish. Goes on and on. Tiny production, 21 hectoliters per hectare. Try after 2025. ~99 James Suckling
The Grand Vin 2018 Château Haut-Bailly checks in as 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It spent 18 months in 60% new French oak. This is a beautiful, classic expression of this terroir, and its dense purple hue is followed by gorgeous black cherry and cassis fruits interwoven with ample tobacco leaf, cedary herbs, earth, truffle, and floral nuances. While 2018 was a hot, dry year (at the end of the season anyway), this shows a mix of cooler-climate, vibrant aromatics paired with a rich, concentrated, fresh style on the palate. It has plenty of tannins, flawless balance, and a great finish. A beautiful, elegant 2018, it's going to need 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for 3-4 decades. ~98 Jeb Dunnuck
First vintage under Chris Wilmers, succeeding his father Bob. A brilliant Haut-Bailly, living up to its En Primeur promise, packed with ripe rippling black and red berry fruit and a wonderful velvety texture. Still extremely young, more closed than it was during En Primeur but packed with layers of brilliance, saline quality on the finish, with a tight slate grip slowing everything down. 5% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, co-fermented with Petit Verdot. ~98 Decanter
The 2018 Haut-Bailly soars out of the glass, showing magnificent poise that only grows with time. Sweet, perfumed aromatics, silky tannins, and mid-weight structure add to its considerable allure. Ripe red berry fruit, spice, blood orange, licorice, cedar, tobacco, and menthol are all woven together in an effortless, classy Haut-Bailly that delivers the goods. I suppose the 2018 doesn't quite have the explosive energy of the very best years, but it more than makes up for that with its sensual, seductive personality. ~97 Antonio Galloni
The 2018 Haut-Bailly is blended of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, and it has 14.4% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little coaxing to unlock a powerhouse of black fruit preserves, offering notes of blackberry pie, crème de cassis, and black cherry compote, giving way to nuances of Chinese five-spice, camphor, chocolate box, and licorice with a touch of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with plush textured, rich black fruits, supported by a lively backbone and finishing long and spicy. It is decadently tempting to drink now, but give it 5 years in bottle to begin to see its full glory, while it should continue to transform for a further 20 years or more in cellar. ~96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The balance between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine gives it swathes of rich fruit and a classic structure. Blackberry flavors layered with firm, dense tannins convey elegance and richness. This is a ripe wine, generously proportioned and ready for aging. Cellar Selection ~96 Wine Enthusiast
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