Chateau Batailley is the quintessential Grand Cru claret. The Estate has all the necessary elements to make prodigious wine and in 2009 it made its greatest ever vintage, exceeding its 1982 and 2005 vintages. It is located in the village of Pauillac, directly behind the leading Second Growths, Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron, which are in turn behind Chateau Latour. Batailley, therefore, rests on the gravel plateau which defines the great wines from this appellation. Superb terroir and exacting winemaking, under the guidance of the Casteja family, define this leading Fifth Growth, a wine popular across global markets and perennially well priced.
At the time of the 1855 classification of Bordeaux, Batailley was one of the well-known older Bordeaux estates. The property takes its name from a famous military battle, which took place during the hundred year’s war in 1452. In fact the battle took place in the vineyards of Batailley, a strategic point upon the high plateau.
In 1971 the then owner Daniel Guestier of Baston, a famous Bordeaux merchant, bought plots adjacent to Lynch Bages and Grand Puy Lacoste, increasing the size of the Estate. In 1942 the Chateau was divided into two properties as we know them currently; Chateau Batailley and Chateau Haut Batailley, with the larger and best terroir going to Batailley. The Casteja family also own Chateau Lynch Moussas and the Saint Emilion estate Chateau Trotte Vieille.
The vineyard area today now extends for 57 hectares, planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine is aged for 16-18 months in 55% new French oak and is produced under the consultancy of the world famous Denis Dubourdieu.
We have tasted the 2009 five times since En Primeur and it is very impressive, with wonderful concentration of fruit, ripe succulent, powerful tannins and exhibiting a lovely backbone of harmonious acidity and minerality. It exhibits a lovely bouquet of cassis, blackcurrant, graphite, cedar wood, smoke and early signs of pencil shavings: the classic sign of a great Pauillac. At £27 pounds a bottle in bond, or £34.40 with duty and VAT this is exceptional claret, the best they have ever produced and will give immense pleasure for the next 20 years.
Robert Parker 94 points, March 2013
The finest Batailley I have had in many years, the dense purple-colored 2009 exhibits a boatload of tannin as well as sweet, caramelized, black currant fruit intermixed with hints of charcoal, cedarwood and smoke, a full-bodied mouthfeel and the aforementioned high, but sweet, well-integrated tannin displaying no jaggedness. Batailley often requires considerable patience as it can be one of the longest-lived Pauillacs. Atypically for Batailley, the 2009 should be ready to drink in 5-7 years and keep for three decades.
Neil Martin, 94 Points, December 2011
Tasted at the château. The Batailley was great out of barrel and is great in bottle. The nose has superb precision, not immensely powerful but very refined and focused, redolent of its neighbour Grand Puy Lacoste. The palate is very composed with succulent tannins, very refined with a spicy, vibrant finish that is filled with joy. Excellent. Tasted November 2011.