2018 Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan)

55% Cabernet Sauvignon/35% Merlot/5% Petit Verdot/5% Cabernet Franc. Harvest 17 September-9 October. An imposing, serious wine, but with utterly silky tannins. Concentrated. Stern and closed at the time of tasting, but dark fruit is clearly marked by a smudge of graphite. There is a lot of depth here that only time will reveal, but it has the feel of a remarkably serious wine in the making. (NT 11/04/19)
Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux FRANCE
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Closure Style
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
98 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, April 2019 17.5 points, Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2019 96-98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, April 2019
94-97 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2019
94-96 points, Chris Kissac

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2018 Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan)

Media Reviews

Jane Anson

This is a serious 2018, structured, layered and full of Haut-Bailly signature. The texture is striking, with the silkiness emphasised by a pH of 3.87 and a relatively high alcohol that is effortlessly integrated into the body of the wine. The complexity builds slowly through the palate but the persisting feeling is of menthol, a lifting off and peeling back of the intensity, revealing the fresher more nuanced notes underneath. There`s a lot of the 2015 character here, in terms of its enjoyable structure and generous fruit, but it`s more like 2016 in its serious finish, and there`s no question that this will age well. The IPT is 86, more than the 84 measured in the 2010, but you don`t feel it in the same way here. 5% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, co-fermented with Petit Verdot because they like the balance that it gives. 21hl/ha yield. 98 points

Julia Harding

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot. 5% each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. 86 IPT – higher than in 2010. pH 3.87, similar to 2009, and TA 3.4 g/l (expressed as sulphuric). Black core. Intense black fruit, less open than Haut-Bailly II, as you might expect, but just as intense in fruit. Deep, more chewy than velvety but the layers of tannin are very fine, there are just a lot of them. A more savoury quality on the palate than in the Haut-Bailly II. Packed with fruit but all coiled up on itself. Big but nothing sticks out. Clean, dry, dark-chocolate finish. Very ripe Cabernet cassis but with the freshness of the Merlot (they always pick the Cabernet late and the Merlot early). Juicy at the core. Big, harmonious and smooth. Embryonically elegant in its power and concentration. 17.5 points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2018 Haut-Bailly is blended of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Grapes were harvested September 17 to October 9, and the wine has 14.4% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it opens slowly with profound notions of Black Forest cake, c rème de cassis, roasted nuts and black olives, unfurling to reveal notions of menthol, crushed rocks, molten licorice and chargrilled meat plus a hint of lilacs. Full-bodied, rich and densely laden with layer upon layer of vibrant black fruits and mineral nuances, it has a solid backbone of firm, velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with compelling restraint and exciting energy. 96-98+ points

Antonio Galloni

The 2018 Haut-Bailly speaks with real authority and class. Deeply spiced notes lead into a core of red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, licorice, new leather, menthol and tobacco. Vivid and dramatic in bearing, the 2018 possesses striking resonance from start to finish. There is plenty of tannin as well, but it is pretty much buried by the sheer luxuriousness of the fruit, while the mid-palate and saline-infused finish show terrific freshness as well as purity. 94-97 points

Chris Kissack

This is 60% of the production, and the blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It was picked between September 17th and October 9th. The alcohol is 14.4%, and the pH 3.87. The Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc were cofermented, and this not the only estate to have done something like this in this vintage. It has a nose filled with dark black cherry, beautifully primary fruit, sweet and pure, showing the character of the vintage, but with a floral red-rose-petal perfume. On the palate it is pretty, fresh, poised and elegant, but showing imposing grip and a rich bed of tannins. These feel svelte, silky and integrated, and they sit comfortably within the substance of the midpalate, cashmere-like, polished, barely noticeable such is their elegance. Giving it energy is the acid-fresh backbone. Overall this feels beautifully pure, reposed and yet brimming with structure and substance. This is a great Haut-Bailly in the making. 94-96 points

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