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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 exceptionally dry weather of 2005 continued until early winter and, although it rained in March, spring was one of the driest on record. Flowering began with the Merlot from May 29th to June 2nd, closely followed by the Cabernet Sauvignon. High temperatures and almost no rain in June favoured pollination and the formation of fine bunches of small grapes, promising a magnificent crop.
A heat wave in July interrupted vine growth but came just at the right time. Overcast skies and cool temperatures in August helped ripen the grapes and maintain a satisfactory level of acidity and good aromatic potential. Two weeks of beautiful weather at the beginning of September (37-38○C) were extremely beneficial, and tests in the vineyard indicated alcoholic and polyphenolic levels identical to those of 2004 and 2005.
The harvest began on September 13th with the picking of a superb plot of young Merlot. The remaining Merlot was picked between the 18th and 23rd, followed by the Cabernet Franc on the 25th, and the Cabernet Sauvignon from September 27th to October 5th. Thanks to the careful work on each vine during the year, all the picked fruit was healthy, aromatic and perfectly ripe.
Traditional cultivation methods such as ploughing between each row of vines are used every year at Haut- Bailly. This encourages deep rooting and is a crucial factor in preventing skin splitting and subsequent rotting of the grapes should rain arrive late in the season. These techniques proved particularly critical in 2006.
The 2006 vintage has very deep colour, an intense fruity character and, to our delight, an impressive tannic structure. The Merlot is smooth and the Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful. This vintage will undoubtedly be well-balanced, silky, and elegant. In short: a great wine and a credit to its terroir.