2012 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1204333 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The classic 2012 Haut-Bailly is staggeringly great wine, with a stunning bouquet of lead pencil shavings, blueberries, black raspberries and blackcurrants and perhaps a touch of spring flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with an almost seamless integration of wood, alcohol and tannin. It is rich, concentrated, stunningly supple, pure and a total hedonistic and intellectual turn-on. This wine defines what is meant by intensity of flavor, but it is light on its feet, à la great cuisine. It should be drinkable reasonably young, but age effortlessly for 25-30 years. One of the great shining superstars of Pessac-Léognan has been the ascent of Haut-Bailly under the ownership of Robert Wilmers, an American, and his winemaking team lead by Véronique Sanders. (RP)  (4/2015)

96 points Vinous

 The 2012 Haut Bailly is quite fragrant and inviting. Dark raspberries, mint, crushed flowers, spices and rose petals all lift from the glass in this feminine, gracious Haut-Bailly that offers considerable near and medium-term appeal. All the elements fall into place in an effortless, stunningly beautiful wine endowed with personality and class. One of the wines of the vintage, the Haut Bailly will drink well for two decades-plus. This is a superb showing from proprietor Bob Wilmers and his team headed by Véronique Sanders. The decision to lower temperatures in fermentation and go for a soft, gentle extraction, along with strict selection has paid off big time. (AG)  (1/2016)

94 points James Suckling

 This red shows intense blackberries, raspberries and strawberries on the nose, following through to a full body with refined yet firm tannins, fresh acidity and a delicate finish. The purity of fruit and finesse and texture of the tannins are all fantastic. Drink in 2019.  (2/2015)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Very firm and closed up, this wine is a tough proposition at the moment. It has the weight to develop well along with richness. Acidity, sweet fruits and concentrated tannins will all come through strongly as the wine matures. Drink from 2020. (RV)  (5/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Well-stuffed, with thick and muscular brambly structure that easily supports the core of macerated black currant, fig and boysenberry fruit flavors. A tarry edge coats the finish. More backward than most of its peers at this early stage, but all the elements are in place. (JM)  (1/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Leathery, savoury notes. Round fruit and admirable freshness but very youthful with a considerable tannic charge still in evidence. 17/20 points. Drink 2020-2032. (JR)  (5/2016)

K&L Notes

I know I am favorably biased, but I absolutely love the wines from this property. They have really improved since the early ’90s, and they were quite good before. They’ve got one of the top terroirs in all of Bordeaux and one of the best directors of any château, Veronique Sanders. She makes the wines so lovely to taste when young—and they will age for a long time. Just this April, we drank the 1966 and 1967 vintages, which were stunningly alive and well, with tons of ripe red fruit flavors. Well-priced wines for the serious Bordeaux collector. (Clyde Beffa, K&L)

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By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/21/2016 | Send Email
One of the best wines of this underrated vintage. It is classic, racy, and noble—so much elegance, finesse, balance and equilibrium. Deep purple color is followed by a sweet nose of black cherries, minerals and black currants. Delicious now on the palate, but cellar it 5-10 more years.

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.