2008 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 Haut-Bailly possesses incredible complexity. Tell-tale notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal, damp earth, black cherries and black currants intermixed with a hint of subtle barbecue smoke are present in this classic, quintessential Graves. Medium-bodied with an emerging, precocious complexity, it is a super-pure, beautifully textured, long wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. Bravo! (RP)
While at this young stage there may be toasty aromas, there is also intense, perfumed fruit. This complex, distinguished wine is polished, with plenty of bright fruits and acidity. (RV)
Wonderful nose of decadent fruit and chocolate, with hints of meat and flowers. Full bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a spicy, silky and long finish. Tight now, but so fine and dense. Give it four to five years of bottle age. So lovely. Best after 2013.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Perfumed aromas and flavors of currant, violet, licorice, minerals and tobacco. Concentrated, sappy and quite dry; densely packed, but explosive inner-mouth energy gives this a compelling light touch. The long, palate-staining finish features serious tannins. Quite backward for the vintage, and showing no easy sweetness today.
At this point in its life, the 2008 Chateau Haut-Bailly promises a little more on the nose than it delivers in the mouth. Its rich and juicy aromas of ripe cherries, currants and lightly caramelly oak are followed up by medium-deep flavors that tighten up after a fairly fat start, and its combination of freshening acids and firm tannins leave it a little toothy and dry at the end. That said, it has more than enough essential fruit to stay on track, and it will unfold with five or six years of age.
Racy and slightly taut, with red currant and cherry pit notes laced with grilled herb and warm stone. There's a sinewy edge on the finish, with more minerality than fruit for now, but this adds some flesh as it airs, showing subtle persistence. Drink now through 2016. (JM)