Attractive combination of perfumed and sweet dark fruit and a touch of vanilla. Tight and just a little bit dry on the finish. (JH)
Author: Julia Harding MW
Wine Advocate | Rating: 100
I have had this wine now four separate times since I wrote my official review after bottling of the 2009s. It goes from strength to strength, and it is not surprising that it is now one of the perfect wines of this great, great vintage - the finest vintage of Bordeaux that I have tasted in 37 years covering that epicenter for world-class quality in wine. Much of it is attributable to winemaker Veronique Sanders and her boss, Robert Wilmers. Their incredibly draconian selection process and their enormous investments in both the viticulture and the estate as well as the winemaking facility have paid off brilliantly over the last decade. The 2009, which has an opaque ruby/purple color, an extraordinary nose of high-quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, graphite, blackcurrants and spice, hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied, saturated and rich mouthfeel, but an elegant and ethereal quality that is difficult to articulate. It is rich, complex and tastes as if it were the vinous equivalent of a remarkable haute couture creation from the late Coco Chanel. It is full-bodied yet elegant, powerful yet delicate, and remarkably velvety-textured, sumptuous and loaded with upside potential. It can be approached now, as most 2009s tend to be, given their richness of fruit, low acidity and extraordinary concentration, but the great complexity that will emerge from this fabulous terroir is at least a decade away, and this wine is set for 50 or more years of longevity. Kudos to Haut-Bailly!
Author: Robert Parker
International Wine Cellar | Rating: 94
Medium ruby-red. Very ripe but subdued aromas of dark berries, black cherry, minerals, woodsmoke, mocha and smoky underbrush. Silky on entry, then utterly smooth and seamless in the middle, with outstanding concentration and lift to the berry, tobacco and hot rock flavors. Finishes with utterly noble tannins and outstanding, slowly building length and lingering perfume. This outstanding Haut-Bailly saturates every square millimeter of the palate without leaving any undue impression of weight. I was reminded of the time I was served three classy old Pessac-Leognan wines blind. I guessed that I was tasting Haut-Brion, but the bottles turned out to be Haut-Bailly 1961, 1945 and 1928.
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: July/August 2012
Wine Spectator | Rating: 94
Offers a rich, very dense feel, but stays racy thanks to a strong graphite frame around the core of roasted fig, plum sauce and maduro tobacco. Muscular but defined on the finish, with a long tarry edge in reserve. This shows serious depth and is more backward than most of its peers. Should really stretch out nicely in the cellar.