2005 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1034903 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Haut-Bailly’s American proprietor, Robert Wilmers, backed up by the brilliant Veronique Sanders, continues to go from strength to strength. A fabulous example of this estate, the 2005 is an ethereal, delicate, finesse-styled offering with intensity as well as richness. It has all the concentration one could want, but it comes across as gorgeously elegant and sublime because of its combination of delicacy, power, and depth. Beautiful raspberry, black cherry, currant, graphite, and scorched earth notes are subtle, but provocative. In the mouth, there is good acidity, medium body, ripe tannin, and terrific length. This is a beauty of haute couture from Pessac-Leognan. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035.  (4/ 2008)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Dark purple in color. Offers pure fruit, with crushed raspberry, blackberry and dried flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins that touch every inch of the palate. Long and racy, with elegance and beauty harking back to bygone days. Best after 2015.  (3/ 2008)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 An impressively structured wine from an estate that is at the forefront of quality in Pessac-Léognan. It is balanced, a rich rounded wine, with considerable depths of black fruits, dark tannins and power.  (6/ 2008)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright medium ruby. Deep aromas of plum, currant, tobacco, mocha and menthol. Superripe and rich but with superb ripe acidity and firm tannins currently keeping the fruit and mineral elements under wraps. Just this side of severe today: here's a 2005 that appears already to have shut down in the bottle. Best today on the back end, where the wine really spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate. I'd give it a good 12 years of aging; it should be very long-lived. Classy, sharply chiseled Haut-Bailly with noteworthy elegance.  (6/ 2008)

K&L Notes

58% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 6% cabernet franc. Super sweet blackberry aromas. Tons of ripe fruit on the palate. Silky also and fruit covers ample tannins. Great balance and lingering finish. One of the best from an area that suffered from the lack of moisture. Buy this. ** (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer)

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Price: $124.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pessac-Leognan/Graves

- Graves is the large red and white wine region located to the southeast of the city of Bordeaux along the Garonne River. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines from the area, while the whites are mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The most important area within the Graves is the village of Pessac-Leognan. Most of the great chateaux, including Haut Brion, a premier cru and the only wine outside of the Medoc to be included in the 1855 Classification, are located in this small appellation. Graves derives its name from the rocky, stony terrain of the region. Many people believe that the stony soil radiates the day's heat at night and thus makes the grapes ripen earlier than the other regions in Bordeaux.