Sunday, January 17, 2021

Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Grand Cru Classe 2000

Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Grand Cru Classe 2000

On a Sunday winter snowy afternoon, Linda prepared a beef roast with carrots and onions and mashed potatoes. I pulled this hearty twenty year old Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux as the ideal wine pairing. I was pleased to find three additional bottles beyond what I show in inventory so it was an ideal selection to try something that I have more of to return to later. 

Haut-Bailly are regular participants in the annual UGCB North American Release Tour grand tasting in Chicago and we enjoy meeting them and tasting their annual release. We'll miss this event this year with the Covid crisis looming if it isn't held or reduced availability to attend as usual.

Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Grand Cru Classe 2000

This was the best showing and most memorable tasting of this label I recall tasting. This is likely because I may have caught a top vintage at its prime drinking window, further enhanced because I had an optimal food and wine pairing. I wrote about the multiplicative impact of an ideal food and wine combination last week. 

Having been held in our cellar since acquiring upon release, the fill level, label, foil and cork were all in pristine condition.

At twenty years this seems to be just hitting its stride and appears to be at the apex of its drinking profile with several years to go yet at this level. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate in March of 2017 said  "it should continue to drink well for another 15-20 years." In 2013, James Suckling wrote of this label, "Still very youthful but starting to show its wonderful depth, structure and complexity."

This release got 94 points from  James Suckling, 92 points from Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator, and 91 points from  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, and Jancis Robinson gave it 17.5/ 20 points. 

Dark blackish garnet colored, medium-full bodied with nicely balanced complex bright vibrant ripe black berry and plum fruits accented by notes of tobacco and cigar box with hints of clove, cassis, cedar, leather and tar with dusty gripping fine-grained tannins on a tangy acidic long finish. 

RM 91 points.