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Chateau Haut-Bailly

ch-haut-bailly.jpgThis stunningly picturesque property is today one of the most stylish, consistenly excellent producers in Bordeaux, making elegant, refined wine of gerat character and complexity.  

With a history dating back of the early 17th century, Haut-Bailly's 28 hectares of planted vineyards are today comprised of a large number of old vines (around 100 years of age) in a somewhat random field blend, even including some of the rare (today) Carmenere.haut-bailly-vats.jpg

Winemaking is relatively straightforward, with the grapes being sorted twice after picking, placed in to large concrete vats and allowed to soak for several days prior to fermentation.  Fermentation takes place over around three weeks, and both alcoholic and malolactic ferments are undertaken in concrete vats.  The wine is then placed in around 50% new oak for 15 months, being racked four times throughout.  The wine is lightly fined (five egg whites) before being bottled unfiltered.

More so than most Bordeaux properties, the soils at Haut-Bailly are very complex and diverse, and Cabernet Sauvignon is the favoured variety, with Cabernet Franc vines being replaced as they die off.  The heavier soils are, naturally, planted to Merlot.

haut-bailly-vines.jpgI have not tried many older bottles of Haut-Bailly, but every vintage in the 21st century has been very impressive (in the context of their relative vintages) and this property is one of my personal favourites.

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