The trio of Domaine de Chevalier, Haut Bailly and Smith Haut Lafitte have become the unofficial super seconds of Pessac Leognon. The quality at these estates now rival the established order and are some of the most thrilling wines to be found on either bank of the Gironde. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The stunning 2010 is the result of very 'careful and precise vinification'. This is very gently extracted; the team here used a cool fermentation (26°C), no delestage and yields of 37 hl/ha to produce one of the most stylish and precise Haut Baillys we can remember. There is a beautifully perfumed bouquet with notes of cool black cherries, mulberries and hints of coal dust. On the palate, this is effortless; packed with dense currant fruit, cassis and tell tale grave minerality, the texture is sumptuous, precise, intense and finishes with fine almost velvety tannins and bright lifted fruit. Exquisite!
Haut-Bailly is a Cru Classé, located in the appellation of Graves.
The region has one first growth, Château Haut-Brion, whilst other renowned Chateaux currently doing well are La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Haut-Bailly. Soils are gravely and well-drained and the plantations are similar in proportion to those of the Médoc, consisting mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The region is also well known for its long-lived whites that can be varying blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon oaked or unoaked. The most lauded are Domaine de Chevalier, Haut-Brion, Pape-Clement, De Fieuzal, and Laville-Haut-Brion.