Medium-full plum , dark chocolate nose , sweet vanilla , the palate is creamy with a firm freshness , feels a little mean and closed in towards the back. Needs time
The 2017 Haut-Bailly is composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Very deep garnet-purple colored, it has a wonderfully spicy nose of cinnamon stick, cloves, anise and fenugreek with core of roses, warm blueberries, black forest cake and black raspberries plus hints of underbrush and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied with firm, ripe, grainy tannins, it has oodles of freshness and great finesse, continuing bright and energetic on the long, minerally finish.
A firm and silky red with a medium to full body, a solid center palate and a long and integrated finish. Very fine, polished and refined. Creamy tannins. Hints of bitter orange.
This reminds me of 2001 more than most wines I've tasted, and perhaps it's no surprise that a vintage that required a skilful touch and a belief in the power of elegance should do well at Haut-Bailly. It's hugely pure and restrained, with great aromatics and extremely well placed bilberry, cassis and mulberry fruits. The tannins are fine and poised, set against cigar box with touches of charcoal and slate. They build through the palate, but remain slightly austere on the finish, with a bounce to them that suggests they are going to age beautifully. They kept the vineyard team for three weeks in July, because the vines kept throwing out green shoots after the June rains. Harvested 13-29 September, the vines were around two weeks ahead all the way through the season. The yield was 28hl/ha overall, but only 2hl/ha on the frosted parts, compared to 40hl/ha for the unaffected areas, 50% of production going into the grand vin. Malo was finished by the end of November, but the vats are still separated and there will be final blend in May 2018 (which is what they always do). 4% of Cabernet Franc finishes the blend given below.
The 2017 Haut-Bailly was cropped at 28hl/ha (40hl/ha on non-frozen parcels and 2hl/ha on frosted parcels) and includes co-fermented Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is unlikely to contain any vin de presse this year, unlike in 2016, and it is matured in 50% new oak. There is a pH of 3.74 with 13.2° alcohol. It has an attractive and quite opulent bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of crushed stone and briary, a light oyster shell influence. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin but there is good backbone here, quite “solid” for Haut-Bailly and it will need to just soften the edges during its élevage. With moderate length and a very attractive graphite aftertaste, this Haut-Bailly will require five or six years in bottle but will repay the patient wine-lover.
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