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Editorial Reviews for Château Haut Bailly Pessac Leognan Ex-Negociant
Smoky and a bit twiggy and stoney on the nose with red fruit and rust. This is curiously a touch sweet almost on entry the this turns firm and a bit mean for a moment before showing the ripe fruit of the nose again, vacillates between ripe fruit and fairly aggressive mineral notes, and while this is a touch lacking in substance it does promise to develop well if it gains some weight, which I expect it will. 89pts
External Reviews for Château Haut Bailly Pessac Leognan Ex-Negociant
There is no denying the greatness in this Bordeaux, but the bricklike, earthy aromas and flavors are bound to polarize wine lovers. Very complex, hard and tannic, it needs until at least the year 2000 to begin to show what it has.
Has wonderful richness and suppleness, lovely fruit and harmony. A superb example of a graceful, balanced wine that is delicious now and can evolve over many years.
The 1986 Haut-Brion, which I thought should be fully mature by now, remains a backward, highly concentrated, powerful wine with more noticeable tannin than most top vintages. The wine does possesses a tell-tale smoky tobacco and sweet black currant-scented nose, in addition to subtle new oak and minerals scents. This medium to full-bodied, rich, intensely smoky wine has still not reached its plateau of maturity. It is unquestionably the wine of the vintage for Graves, and not far off the pace of the great 1986 first-growth Medocs. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015. Last tasted 7/97.
As reported over the last two years, this is a prodigious Haut-Brion. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a tight, but incredibly promising nose of smoke, earth, minerals, lead pencil, black currants, cherries, and spice. This full-bodied wine unfolds slowly, but convincingly on the palate, revealing a rich, multi-tiered, stunningly pure, symmetrical style with wonderful sweetness, ripe tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly 45 seconds. It tastes like liquid nobility. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2035.
The essence of Graves, with great concentration but no rough edges. The fruit and tannins are rich yet fully integrated, and the tobacco and cedar notes are classic for this estate. Best after 2000.
It will always be tempting to compare the 2000 Haut-Brion with the perfect 2000 La Mission Haut-Brion. However, it is not as fat, unctuous, flamboyant, or voluminous as La Mission. Yet, like a great diplomat, it is a wine of intensity, authority, and measured restraint. A supremely elegant offering, its dense ruby/purple color, and burgeoning perfume of scorched earth, liquid minerals, plums, black currants, cherries, lead pencil, and subtle spicy oak are followed by a delicate yet powerfully flavorful, multi-layered, highly nuanced, and extraordinarily pure and seamless wine. There have been so many recent classics from Haut-Brion, it is premature to suggest the 2000 is better than the 1998, 1995, 1990, or 1989, but it is certainly a prodigious wine of dazzling persistence, length, and complexity. A blend of 51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Cabernet Franc, it should prove to be uncommonly long-lived, even by the standards of Haut-Brion. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040.
Whether it's a coincidence, or because in relatively cool years the first-growth terroirs are brilliant, Haut-Brion has turned out a beautifully classic, medium-bodied, precise and focused 2002 boasting a deep ruby/purple color as well as strikingly elegant aromatics (crushed stones, plums, black cherries, currants, figs, and earth). The wine possesses impressively measured power and elegance offered in a medium-bodied, nicely-structured, exceptionally pure format. It is unusual for Haut-Brion to dominate La Mission Haut-Brion at such a young age, but it certainly does in the 2002 vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2024.
Food Pairings for Château Haut Bailly Pessac Leognan Ex-Negociant
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