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2012 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan

SKU #1204333 96 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The 2012 Haut Bailly is brilliant and does nothing to damper my belief that this vintage is underrated in the market. Offering up a classic bouquet of tobacco leaf, cigar wrapper, blackcurrants, lead pencil, and graphite, this beauty is full-bodied, has terrific concentration, integrated acidity and plenty of fine tannins. While it starts out up front and seemingly ready to go, it tightens up with time in the glass and is going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and drink nicely for two decades. It’s a sensational wine you won’t regret having in your cellar. Inner quote mark (8/2018)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (4/2015)

96 points Vinous

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (1/2016)

94 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Even in a more modest vintage such as 2002, Haut-Bailly excels thanks to the production team's detailed knowledge of this all-red vineyard. The vintage was a good one but perhaps less structured than 2014 or 2015. The blackcurrant-scented nose is ripe and seductively charming. It's full-bodied and suave, with a chocolate tone as well as an intense black-fruits character. It's very concentrated and dense, with depth and weight, but no rusticity or excessive extraction. Unlike many 202, it should age very well. Very long. Drinking Window 2019 - 2032 (SB) Inner quote mark (9/2019)

94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark 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. Inner quote mark (2/2015)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (5/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (1/2015)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Very dark crimson. Very scented and direct. Round tannins (like the Parde). Very glossy fruit and actually almost approachable. 17.5/20 points. Drink 2018-2030. (JR) Inner quote mark (8/2017)

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.

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