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November 20, 2015

Chateau Haut-Bailly 2012

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This year Parker released his in bottle scores for the 2012 vintage, commenting that ‘What stands out about the bottled 2012 Bordeaux is that they performed as well, if not better, than the barrel-tastings, which is always a great sign.’ The stars of the vintage were located in the same micro climate of Pessac Leognan of the left bank and Pomerol on the right bank; ’Interestingly, the quality of the Pomerols and Graves wines in 2012 is closer to what one would consider a great vintage than the general image of 2012.’  

In 2012 the stunning Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion were marked up to 98 and 97 points and cost £1,400 and £720 per case of six respectively. Haut Bailly, which Parker calls a ‘great shining superstar of Pessac-Léognan’ was re-scored from 91-93 to 96 points, putting it on par with the great Chateaux Petrus and Palmer, which cost £8,200 and £800 respectively. At £240 per case of six, or £41.60 per bottle, Haut Bailly represents incredible value for money, with a Price Over Points Ratio of 30.

2012 Score Price (6x75cl)
Haut Bailly 96 £240
Pape Clement 97 £270
La Mission HB 97 £720
L’Eglise Clinet 96 £800
Palmer 96 £800
Haut Brion 98 £1,400
Petrus 96 £8,200

 
Haut Bailly has been one of the best performing Chateau since 2005, thanks to dedication and investment. In 1955 a Belgian wine merchant, Daniel Sanders bought the Estate and invested in restoring it to its past glories. During this time the great oenologist Émile Peynaud oversaw the winemaking. In 1998 the American Banker, Robert G.Wilmers acquired the Estate and along with Sander’s granddaughter Veronique Sanders has propelled the Chateau to making world class wines, they were awarded 100 points from Parker in 2009, 98 in 2010 and 96 in 2012.

The 2012 is not only undervalued against similar scoring wines from the vintage but also against previous vintages. The table below suggests that over the next few years its price will adjust and move in line with the high quality that it offers.

Vintage Score Price (6×75) POP
2012 96 £240 30
2010 98 £500 56
2009 100 £750 75
2008 96 £300 38
2005 96+ £370 45

 
Haut Bailly produce 7,500 cases of their first wine per year and unlike many wines in Graves they focus exclusively on red wines. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wine is now renowned for wonderful purity and concentration of fruit, along with opulent mouthfeel and balance. The 2012 is graced with velvety tannins, which will allow it to be drunk young, yet it is capable of ageing and improving for decades.

The 2012s were bottled in Autumn last year allowing the market to fulfil demand for the leading wines. As such, for the time being, Haut Bailly 2012 offers remarkable value for money and remains undervalued in the market.

Robert Parker, 96 Pts
The classic 2012 Haut-Bailly is staggeringly great wine, with a stunning bouquet of lead pencil shavings, blueberries, black raspberries and blackcurrants and perhaps a touch of spring flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with an almost seamless integration of wood, alcohol and tannin. It is rich, concentrated, stunningly supple, pure and a total hedonistic and intellectual turn-on. This wine defines what is meant by intensity of flavor, but it is light on its feet, à la great cuisine. It should be drinkable reasonably young, but age effortlessly for 25-30 years

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