Château Haut-Batailley Pauillac Bordeaux 2003
Wine buddy and fellow Pour Boy Bill brought this Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux from his cellar in South Carolina for a wine dinner following our extraordinary dinner and wine flight last evening. This was a great comparison tasting opposite the just released 2018 vintage of Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Château Haut-Batailley is another property of the legendary Borie family, one of the oldest wine producing families in Bordeaux who also own Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. Our visit to the Borie family owned classic second growth Ducru-Beaucaillou estate was one of the highlights of our trip to the Medoc last year.
Bill brought this label to another wine dinner tasting we held three years ago. At that time I wrote that this wine as probably at the apex of its drinking window, not likely to improve further with aging. While that may be the case, it certainly is holding its own and showed very well again tonight, perhaps better than our earlier tasting, exceeding my expectations for what I was expecting from this label and vintage release.Bill's Cellartracker notes from the earlier tasting summed it up well - "Medium garnet with a slight touch of brown at the edges. Earthy nose with the slightest hint of lilac. A bit tight upon opening but within 20 minutes, began to reveal cassis, dark chocolate, a bit of moss and just a hint of mint."
Like our earlier tasting experience, this opened with wonderful Bordeaux aromas of earthy leather, dark fruits
and floral but was firm and tight with a moderate gripping tannin
backbone - yet smooth and polished rather than overbearing. We set it
aside and let it open and breath for a bit which it did so very nicely
over the course of the evening. It showed equally well if not better the next evening as we enjoyed the remains of the bottle.
Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, complex black fruits with tones of cassis, floral, earthy leather, tobacco and oak, hints of spice and graphite with smooth polished dusty tannins on the lingering finish.
RM 91 points.