2009 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1055108 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A dense ruby/purple-tinged color offers up notes of forest floor, subtle wood smoke, mulberries, black cherries, cassis and a hint of lead pencil shavings. There is even a floral component lurking in the intricate aromatic profile. The wine is medium to full-bodied with wonderful intensity that builds incrementally and has a long, silky, luscious finish. There is plenty of tannin, but it is largely concealed by the wine’s beautiful fruit and ethereal complexity. Given its virtually perfect balance, this brilliant Haut-Bailly should age effortlessly for 3-4 decades.This is a tour de force in winemaking, particularly for readers seeking the quintessential example of a Bordeaux that combines compelling complexity and finesse with significant flavor authority and intensity. I suppose we could see this coming as American owner, Robert Wilmers, along with his winemaker/manager, Veronique Sanders, continue to push the envelope. Yields were extremely low in 2009, and the final blend was an intriguing concoction of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It came in just under 14% natural alcohol, which makes it among one of the more powerful Haut-Baillys produced. However, power is not the hallmark of this wine. This terroir is known to produce relatively light wines, and by reducing yields and picking riper fruit, Wilmers and Sanders have achieved a level of concentration and intensity that is unprecedented for Haut-Bailly.  (2/ 2012)

97 points James Suckling

 Aromas of blackberries, wet earth and mushrooms, follow through to a full body, with a solid core of fruit. Velvety and delicious, yet wonderfully structured. Muscular wine. Best ever? Try in 2018.  (2/ 2012)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Barrel sample. Dominated by firm tannins, dark texture, black berry and currant fruits. A powerful wine that shows an immense dry core.  (8/ 2010)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 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.  (7/ 2012)

94 points Wine Spectator

 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. Best from 2017 through 2035.  (3/ 2012)

K&L Notes

**½ 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Absolutely charming wine, with a cashmere-like texture. Excellent. Note: Futures item. Wine will arrive late 2011 to 2013. You will be contacted for delivery instructions.

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By: Ralph Sands |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/6/2012  | Send Email
Lively, bright and silky. Strong and elegant at the same time. Excellent.

By: Alex Pross |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/6/2012  | Send Email
Super deep red cherry and a touch of cinnamon. Velvety smooth, with great concentration and structure.

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/6/2012  | Send Email
**½ Absolutely charming wine, with a cashmere-like texture. Elegant aromas of toasted blackberry pie. Big tannins, but very smooth and masked by superb fruit. Lingering finish. Violets and plums. At UGC: Lots of minerals. Great entry.

By: Melissa Smith |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/30/2012  | Send Email
One of the first wines I tasted at UGC, this is one powerful, masculin wine with dark fruit, spice, cigar box, and hints of tarragon.

Additional Information:

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.