A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 Haut-Bailly possesses incredible complexity. Tell-tale notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal, damp earth, black cherries and black currants intermixed with a hint of subtle barbecue smoke are present in this classic, quintessential Graves. Medium-bodied with an emerging, precocious complexity, it is a super-pure, beautifully textured, long wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. Bravo!
Author: Robert Parker
Jancis Robinson | Rating: 17
April 2008 was particularly cold but the vineyard of Haut-Bailly once again was able to benefit from its excellent position raised, on an outcrop that protects it from frost. Rain during May caused some disruption to the flowering, leading to low yields. July was dry and beautiful. The weather in September and October was exceptional and particularly dry, which meant the grapes reached perfect maturity and showed high degrees of potential alcohol, equal to both 2005 and 2006. The acidity levels remained fairly high because of the moderate summer temperatures. The grapes themselves were smaller, which contributed to a real concentration of flavours once the grapes were in the vats. The 2008 harvest will remain in the history books as one of the longest and latest of the decade: 10 days of grape picking spread out over 5 weeks! The harvest began on 25 September for the youngest Merlots, while the last Cabernet Sauvignons were brought in from 17-23 October. Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Merlot 30%.I'm quite surprised by how open and evolved the nose is! What a charmer! What happened to the tannins? Like the 2005, the tannins of this wine show only on the very end. Real energy. Very vital. Rather reminds me of the 2004. Long and fresh and makes a great impact. Long and neat. I could really enjoy this now!!! A sweetness at the start and then great freshness - all wrapped up in a silky cocoon. Maybe it will close up but I am giving drinking dates as though it won't.
Author: Jancis Robinson
International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92
Bright ruby-red. Perfumed aromas and flavors of currant, violet, licorice, minerals and tobacco. Concentrated, sappy and quite dry; densely packed, but explosive inner-mouth energy gives this a compelling light touch. The long, palate-staining finish features serious tannins. Quite backward for the vintage, and showing no easy sweetness today.
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: July/August 2011
Wine Spectator | Rating: 90
Racy and slightly taut, with red currant and cherry pit notes laced with grilled herb and warm stone. There's a sinewy edge on the finish, with more minerality than fruit for now, but this adds some flesh as it airs, showing subtle persistence.