This is a vivid and powerful red with lots of bright fruit and spice character. Full body, chewy tannins and loads of fruit on the finish. Firm and focused tannins. Lots of energy and vibrance. Spice and violet leaf undertone. Pure fruit. Pure structure. Mar 2016, JamesSuckling.com
The Graves wine of the vintage (along with Haut-Brion's red). A structural, sensual, expansive wine. Dense but deft, 3.75pH, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and for the first time this year a new plot of 4% Petit Verdot (young vines but already powerful and spicy). Incredible persistency. Picking dates were 15 September for the first Merlot grapes and 8 October for the last Cabernets, allowing for a truly relaxed pace. Represents 55% of total crop. Double the usual rain in August after four months of serious deficit, then back to half of normal rainfall for both September and October (44mm instead of 90mm) – which is why director Véronique Sanders said for the first time 'August rains saved the vintage'. This has the potential to be upscored when in bottle. Apr 2016, Jane Anson, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2025-2042
Once again, I am absolutely stunned by how vivid the 2015 Haut-Bailly is. Bright, red-toned fruit and floral overtones convey freshness. Deep and unctuous in the glass, with tremendous concentration, the 2015 has more than enough clout to age well for several decades. It will need at least a few years in bottle to be truly enjoyable.
Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Haut-Bailly offers up a tantalizingly savory nose of smoked meats, chargrill, tapenade, unsmoked cigars and black truffles with a core of black currants, black cherries and wild blueberries plus wafts of iron ore and bouquet garni. Medium to full-bodied, very firm and yet wonderfully plush with a powerful core of fruit—this vintage is truly an iron fist in a velvet glove. The finish goes on and on with persistent earthy/minerally notes and savory/sweet fruit. Although it is tempting and indeed delicious right now, the wine still possesses many restrained layers and should handsomely reward the patient. Feb 2018, www.robertparker.com
In a very good vintage for Pessac-Léognan, Haut-Bailly really stands out for its quality, confirming the ongoing improvements here. Intense, brooding and given extra structure by the use of Petit Verdot for the first time, this is complex, saline and focused with delightful oak integration and a long, stylish finish. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2025-2035
The 2015 Haut Bailly is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot (Véronique Sanders told me that the latter was planted three years ago.) My sample included 80% new oak, but there will be 50% in the final blend. Deep in color, the bouquet is very intense with multilayered blackberry, blueberry, crème de cassis and subtle black olive aromas, introverted at first but soon racing out of the blocks with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, quite firm tannin. This is an Haut-Bailly with real backbone, real sense of purpose. It could have tipped over into being overpowering due to that intense Merlot, but the acidity keeps everything in check and the finish demonstrates wonderful tension. In particular, the aftertaste is incredibly long in the mouth. This Haut Bailly is up there with the 2009 and 2010 - a bravura Pessac-Léognan destined for long-term ageing. Do yourself (and the wine) a favor and cellar it for 12 years, drinking the 2012 or 2013 before reaching for this. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2027-2065
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Very dark, luscious colour - one of the most distinctive colours of all! Savoury and not forced but awfully attractive. Round and fresh. Very nicely assembled. Definitely Graves. Long and very 'cashmere'! Real lift yet intensely ripe fruit too. Very neat! 13.6%. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2025-2045