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There are few places where terroir truly affects production but Château Haut-Bailly is definitely one of those. Château Haut-Bailly has a distinctive style that harmoniously combines classicism with modernity, elegance, finesse and softness with structure. The silky smoothness of the tannins echoes the elegant yet complex aromas.
Château Haut-Bailly has great ageing potential and consistently wins praise from experts who agree that it offers complex pleasure and a richness that is neither aggressive nor ostentatious. These are natural qualities which Haut-Bailly is determined to keep.
Each year the team at Château Haut-Bailly works hard at developing the quality of the wines without interfering with nature. Since 1998, thanks to even more stringent selection controls, the wine has gained a greater depth and precision.
The Haut-Bailly 2002 is a powerful wine, pure, elegant and showing beautiful complexity. Superbly balanced it presents an intense, fruity character, suave freshness and a refined, well-bred texture. Built to last, long-cellaring may be envisaged for this great palindrome year.
In the summer of 2002 weather conditions were not as bright and sunny as they had been in previous years. But, in the most unexpected way, an exceptionally fine late season, dry and sunny with beneficial cool winds, completely saved the 2002 vintage, enabling us to wait for total ripening of the grapes. Slow development of the tannins plus high acid content forced us to spread picking over a longer period. More than three weeks elapsed between picking the first Merlots on September 20 and the last Cabernets on October 15. A vibrating table fitted with a sifting-grid behind the stemmer turned out to be indispensable this year in eliminating any unwanted, undersize berries caused by the coulure or millerandage. In the first days of pre-fermentation maceration, the deep colour and ease of extraction warned us that we had to vinify with finesse, without pushing it, to avoid extraction of the harder tannins whose astringence would be emphasized by high acid levels. Very gentle "pumping-over" and controlled maceration were carefully conducted throughout the period of vatting.