2008 Chateau Haut-Bailly

Year: 2008
Appellation: Pessac-Leognan
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 95-97
Vinous Media: 89-92
Red Wine
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"The 2008 exhibits superb minerality as well as the delicacy of a great culinary preparation, packed and stacked with flavor, yet light on its feet. The 2008 will compete, perhaps eclipse the sensational 2005 and 2006. A dense ruby/purple color is followed by notes of charcoal, graphite, black currants, sweet cherries, spice box, and subtle earth. The wine possesses super purity, a medium to full-bodied, gorgeous texture, ripe, sweet tannins, and a layered mouthfeel. The acidity provides freshness, vibrancy, and delineation to all the component parts of this very concentrated yet quintessentially elegant wine. It is a sensational effort that should begin showing secondary nuances of complexity in 8-10 years, and evolve for three decades or more.

In a few short years, new proprietor Robert Wilmers and his winemaker, Veronique Sanders, have raised Haut-Bailly’s quality to the level of Pape-Clement, La Mission-Haut-Brion, and Haut-Brion." (WA)

"Ruby-red. Enticing delicate aromas of fresh flowers, strawberry, ripe red cherry and a hint of minerals. Juicy and light on entry, then complex and graceful in the middle, with plenty of mouthwatering strawberry and blackcurrant flavors accented by graphite and minerals. Very well balanced on the long, satiny finish, this is as far removed from the blockbuster Napa Valley cabernet-merlot stereotype as a Bordeaux wine can be, and should make beautiful drinking in the near term. But my experience with Haut-Bailly is that it always seems light when young (sometimes too light), only to pick up considerable flesh and volume with age, so my guess is that it will still be splendid 25 years after the vintage." (IWC)