As it opens in the glass, this is absolutely gorgeous. You can see why this was the period where people stopped and said, 'hang on, what's going on at Haut Bailly?' It's silky and a touch subdued, clearly a serious wine, with seductive, fleshy cassis, bilberry, hedgerow and bramble fruits alongside notes of leather, pencil lead and crushed stones, perfectly balanced by tantalisingly reticent tannins and acidity. It's got to be one of the greatest Haut-Baillys on record, with its wonderful expression and great persistency. (JA)
Deep ruby/purple-colored, with loads of red currants, smoked meats, dried flowers, Asian spices and hints of truffle-like aromatics, the 2009 Haut Bailly is full-bodied, ethereally textured, super elegant, and possesses a purity of fruit that’s off the charts. In addition to a wealth of fruit, this absolutely perfect wine glides across the palate and carries incredible intensity and richness without any sensation of weight or heaviness. It's already impossible to resist, yet will keep for another two to three decades. This is the epitome of elegance and finesse in Bordeaux!
I have had this wine now four separate times since I wrote my official review after bottling of the 2009s. It goes from strength to strength, and it is not surprising that it is now one of the perfect wines of this great, great vintage – the finest vintage of Bordeaux that I have tasted in 37 years covering that epicenter for world-class quality in wine. Much of it is attributable to winemaker Véronique Sanders and her boss, Robert Wilmers. Their incredibly draconian selection process and their enormous investments in both the viticulture and the estate as well as the winemaking facility have paid off brilliantly over the last decade. The 2009, which has an opaque ruby/purple color, an extraordinary nose of high-quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, graphite, blackcurrants and spice, hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied, saturated and rich mouthfeel, but an elegant and ethereal quality that is difficult to articulate. It is rich, complex and tastes as if it were the vinous equivalent of a remarkable haute couture creation from the late Coco Chanel. It is full-bodied yet elegant, powerful yet delicate, and remarkably velvety-textured, sumptuous and loaded with upside potential. It can be approached now, as most 2009s tend to be, given their richness of fruit, low acidity and extraordinary concentration, but the great complexity that will emerge from this fabulous terroir is at least a decade away, and this wine is set for 50 or more years of longevity. Kudos to Haut-Bailly!
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