Chateau Haut-Bailly Pessac-Leognan [Pre-arrival] 2018
JD97-100: A wine that's going to flirt with perfection, the 2018 Château Haut-Bailly is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, brought up in 60% new French oak. Hitting 14.5% alcohol, its deep purple color is followed by a fabulous bouquet of pure crème de cassis, crushed violets, white flowers, graphite, and damp earth. An incredibly powerful, opulent wine, it nevertheless has sensational purity as well as the freshness and elegance that's the hallmark of this terrific estate. It will drink well in just a few years yet keep for 20-25 years or more.
JS97-98: Incredible depth of fruit to this with a center palate that shows superb character and texture. I love the hazelnut and coffee-bean undertones to the beautiful fruit, which shows great finesse. Full-bodied yet compact and tight, giving a sense of agility and flight to the wine. Extremely tight and polished tannins.
WA96-98: The 2018 Haut-Bailly is blended of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Grapes were harvested September 17 to October 9, and the wine has 14.4% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it opens slowly with profound notions of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis, roasted nuts and black olives, unfurling to reveal notions of menthol, crushed rocks, molten licorice and chargrilled meat plus a hint of lilacs. Full-bodied, rich and densely laden with layer upon layer of vibrant black fruits and mineral nuances, it has a solid backbone of firm, velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with compelling restraint and exciting energy.