2014 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
The 2014 Haut Bailly is exceptionally polished, creamy and textured from the very first taste. Black cherries, plums, smoke, tobacco and incense meld together in an ample, voluptuous wine built on pure texture. The high percentage of Merlot gives the 2014 relatively soft contours to balance the pure intensity of the Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a remarkably balanced, polished, young Haut-Bailly. The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot. (AG)
Barrel Sample. This is a very successful wine, with wood and fruit notes that combine seamlessly with layers of acidity. At its base is a serious structure of dark tannins; on top, juicy black fruits shine. This is a wine for long-term aging. (RV)
A subtle and refined wine with savory, salty and delicately fruity character. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Compacted and tight. Lovely tension. Precise.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Château Haut-Bailly 2014 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot picked between 24 September and 15 October. Véronique Sanders explained that it represents a much higher percentage of Cabernet because of its quality, the Merlot undergoing some saignée due to the size of berries. Matured in 50% new oak and including 8% vin de presse, it has a lovely bouquet with superb delineation, touches of undergrowth and tobacco infusing the pure black fruit, stirrings of black tea emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy, crisp tannin on the entry and good acidity (ph 3.7), perhaps more than say, the 2012. There is a fine sense of energy here and at dovetails into a lightly spiced, slightly saline finish. This is a slightly less ostentatious than recent vintages, a little more restrained but the terroir really shows through. Excellent. Expect this to land at the top of my banded score. (NM)
Rich and substantial but racier than the old Haut-Bailly style. Really very well mastered. Good balance without excess acidity or tannin. Very persistent. The concentration was presumably helped enormously by the saignée that produced the Rosé. Just a little stolid but a very impressive 2014. (17.5+/20 points)