Bordeaux 2016: Chateau Batailley and Haut-Bages Monpelou

Bordeaux 2016: Chateau Batailley and Haut-Bages Monpelou
The Castéja family has released their two outstanding Pauillacs: Chateau Batailley and Chateau Haut-Bages Monpelou.

Chateau Batailley has evolved into rather a grand wine. It always represented good value for money and developed beautifully in bottle, but advances in the winemaking and the introduction of the second label are beginning to harness the full potential of this terroir. The 2015 and 2016 are perhaps the most profound and serious Batailleys we can remember tasting en primeur. The critics are clearly impressed too:

‘The 2016 Batailley is a blend of 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped at 50h hectoliters per hectare. Matured in 60% new oak. It has an intense graphite infused bouquet with fine delineation, some freshly picked Pauillac mint coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin that grip the mouth insistently; with graphite and tobacco-infused black fruit dominating, this a classically styled Batailley in the vein of previous vintages with the elegance coming through towards the finish. This is one of those wines that grows on you, perhaps not as easy or as charming to taste as other Pauillac 2016s at this stage, but knowing this property well, I know how it can blossom when it matters, which is when you and I drink it. 93-95/100’. – Neal Martin,

‘I thought the 2015 defined the new Batailley, but this is fantastic. Full-bodied and so tannic and powerful. Flavors of chocolate, coffee and spices. Excellent finish. Very muscular. Tight and precise. 95-96/100’. – James Suckling,

Chateau Haut-Bages Monpelou is a new find for Justerini & Brooks. The vineyards were formerly part of the Fourth Growth, Duhart Milon and are well situated, close to Batailley. The 2016 really impressed us with its fleshy, earthy Cabernet fruit and wonderful fluidity. It struck us as a really honest, authentic Pauillac, bristling with character and charm. At £205 per dozen, it will represent one of the best value Pauillacs of the vintage.