After a remarkably slow start, it appears that the Bordeaux en primeur campaign is finally gaining momentum. Whether or not this is reflected by interest in the market remains to be seen. At Atlas, we have continued to highlight releases that we believe are genuinely compelling by judging the release price against the wine’s quality as well as the pricing and availability of back vintages. Antonio Galloni recently commented that he thinks ‘consumers need to approach this vintage unemotionally and just wait for opportunities to buy the wines that are of interest, whether that is now or later.’ This very much chimes with the Atlas approach.
One wine that we have been awaiting with interest is Château Haut-Bailly – this impressive Pessac-Léognan estate has been enjoying a rich vein of form over the last few years. The 2017 impressed us greatly – another great success for Véronique Sanders and Gabriel Vialard, the estate’s technical director. This would make my very short list of wines to buy this vintage, particularly given its remarkably fair release price (down around 14% on last year).
2017 Château Haut-Bailly
£440 per 6 bottle case in bond
(93-96) Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
The 2017 Haut-Bailly is an understated beauty. Nothing in particular stands out rather it is the wine's balance that impresses most. All the classic Haut-Bailly signatures come through in a mid-weight, super-finessed wine that hits all the right notes. Dark red and blue stone fruits, graphite, smoke, licorice and incense are all laced into the super-expressive finish. The 2017 emerges from the estate's central, most historic parcels, as those vineyards were not affected by the April frost that took with it 30% of the production.
(92-94) Neal Martin, Vinous.com
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. Drink 2021 – 2040.
Please let us know of your interest.