Château Haut Bailly Grand Cru Classé Pessac

Chateau Haut-Bailly is situated on the left bank of the River Garonne, south of Bordeaux in the commune of Pessac-Léognan - home to all the Graves Crus Classés. A vineyard with 30 hectares (74 acres) of planted vines on one piece of land, it sits on a high ridge overlooking a small winding road leading from Leognan to Cadaujac. The sloping terrain is well-graded and has excellent drainage.

If great wine results from a harmonious relationship between man, the vine, and nature - a concept the French call terroir - the most subtle of these three elements is the soil. At Haut-Bailly, it is sandy, mixed with gravel, and rests on a subsoil of sandstone petrified with the remains of prehistoric fossil shells. All this contributes to the special character of Haut-Bailly wine.

Three cellars have been built to accommodate the wood-aging process, one of them having been specially designed to facilitate the malolactic fermentation. The young wine is stored in oak casks and allowed to mature in the cellars for eighteen months. Every year, a large number of the barrels are replaced - the exact number varying according to the vintage. For instance, in 1987, it was 33%, in 1990, 65% and 50% in 1993. More recently, 60% in 2004 and 63% in 2005.

For many years, Professor Emile Peynaud was the consultant-oenologist at Haut-Bailly. He was succeeded in l990 by Professor Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon, and in 1998 by Professor Denis Dubourdieu, whos first assignment was a research study to identify the ideal balance between terroir/grape variety/graft stock for each parcel of land. In 2004, Jean Delmas joined Haut-Bailly's oenology team.

There are few places where terroir truly affects production but Haut-Bailly is one of them. The Haut-Bailly style of wine is characterized by its elegance and finesse, being aristocratic, harmonious, low in acid yet extraordinarily soft in spite of a high proportion of Cabernet - a softness, which does not, however, inhibit its great aging potential. This wine has a distinctive style that harmoniously combines classicism with modernity, elegance, finesse and softness with structure.

These are natural qualities which Haut-Bailly is determined to maintain. Since 1998, thanks to even more draconian selection controls, the wine has gained a greater depth and precision.

Château Haut Bailly Grand Cru Classé Pessac