1997 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #110561

This wine is perfect right now! Packed with ripe fruit and not a hard edge to be found. According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 00: "Moderately saturated medium ruby. Plum, tar, tobacco and leather on the slightly roasted nose. Juicy and restrained in the mouth, with flavors of plum, smoke and tobacco and a faint herbaceous element. Offers modest texture and sweetness but good vinosity and personality." According to Robert Parker: "One of Bordeaux's most delicate, elegant, graceful wines, Haut-Bailly's 1997 displays a deep ruby color, and already evolved sweet, spicy, red currant, and tobacco aromas. The wine is medium-bodied, subtle, richly fruity, and harmonious. This soft, forward Haut-Bailly will be at its best between 2000-2010." (04/98)

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Price: $69.99

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By: Steve Greer |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/6/2011  | Send Email
This wine as with most of the 1997’s really came to life after being open for a couple hours. It seems the fruit needs time to wake up so it can stand up to the bright acidity that is still evident. This was one of the hits of the tasting with the staff for it’s elegance. The layered nose showed leather, herb, red fruit and tobacco. The rich mid-palate came to life with currant, mineral, tobacco and roasted herbs. This is one of the wines that really benefited from decanting so please do.

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/9/2011  | Send Email
This has always been one of my favorite 1997s, and the cases that recently arrived from the famous Mahler-Besse cellar are perfect.

By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/9/2011  | Send Email
Tasted on April 18th 2011. The '97 is ready to enjoy now. It shows an "old school" (read: classic) Pessac nose of black fruit, earth, and saddle leather, with some pipe smoke and black tea aromas adding complexity. The palate is medium-bodied, with medium acidity and medium+, well-integrated tannins. The once-gritty finish has mellowed to a smooth, velvety, and persistant finish. Decant and enjoy tonight with something braised and bone-in. Lamb shank, anyone?

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.