Spotlight: Château Haut-Bailly
With a history of grape cultivation dating back to 1461, the modern era of Haut-Bailly places it in the upper echelon of Bordeaux producers. After purchasing the estate in 1998, Robert Wilmers spared no expenses to produce the best wines possible. Together with Veronique Sanders, whose family owned the estate for many years, Haut-Bailly has strengthened the vineyards, refined winemaking methods. Chris Wilmers has since taken over management after Robert’s passing in 2017.
A Graves Crus Classé estate just east of the Léognan village, Château Haut-Bailly is a 30-hectare vineyard planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Here we can find outstanding soil diversity due to rolling hills that differentiate plots by up to 20 meters in height. Though most vines are around 35 years old, they are privileged to also possess some of the oldest vines in Bordeaux, with four hectares averaging around 120 years of age. The estate refers to these vines as the heart of Haut-Bailly, fundamental to their genetic makeup.
Gentleness, both among the vines and within the cellar, is a key component of their winemaking style. They treat each plot individually, from pruning and harvesting, and vinify in concrete vats. After aging for 16 to 18 months in French oak, we get a glimpse of Haut-Bailly’s enormous potential. Silky Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines that are complex and balanced, with ripe fruit flavors and spiced undertones. When conditions allow, they also make an elegant rosé.