Chateau Haut-Bailly, says Robert Parker Jr., “is a wine of undeniable finesse, elegance and restraint.” Marked by sophistication and supple tannins, historically—like most top-quality Bordeaux—it has been at its finest after some years of bottle age.
However, in recent years, the wines are increasingly attractive in their youth. This does not seem to affect the age-worthiness of the wine. It merely broadens the timespan for enjoyment. Indeed, steady improvements in winemaking and viticulture are raising overall quality to new levels.
Chateau Haut-Bailly, an esteemed Cru Classé de Graves, lies in a 30 hectare (74 acres) vineyard near the center of the region. On the left bank of the river Garonne, it is positioned on a high sandy ridge mixed with gravel, atop a layer of sandstone and fossil shell remains. This terroir gives Haut Bailly wines distinctive character and refinement.
The property featured vines in 1461 or earlier, and from 1530s one could see a focused wine estate taking shape. That estate changed hands over the centuries and was handed down from generation to generation, each leaving their stamp. Today, Chateau Haut Bailly is owned by Robert G. Wilmers, an American businessman devoted to Bordeaux Grands Crus. His stewardship and investment has brought Haut Bailly to new heights but all in keeping with the estates strong heritage.
The long heritage of Chateau Haut Bailly is represented by 4 hectares of own-rooted, century-old vines. The remainder of the vineyard, on carefully selected rootstock, is Cabernet Sauvignon focused with 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot available to create complex, well-rounded wines.