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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.
To do better than in 2009 was a challenge! But owing to the auspicious climatic conditions that prevailed throughout the growing period and the sustainable cultivation and winemaking methods used at Haut-Bailly, the byword for the 2010 vintage is excellence. The 2010 has a different style but it is just as remarkable as the 2009. The vintage promises to be powerful with very long ageing potential; it has a condensed complex structure sustained by a dazzling freshness, ideal concentration combined with superb maturity. 2010 has already earned its place among the greatest Bordeaux.
We had a prolonged cold winter: heavy snowfalls twice brought France to a standstill. On February 29, hurricane Xynthia swept through South West France wreaking havoc. The cold but dry weather was good for pruning. This resulted in late bud break, around April 5 for the first Merlots and mid-April for the Cabernets. Flowering had started during an exceptionally hot week in late May, but was interrupted by wet and cold weather in early June which disrupted fertilization, causing irregular flowering and mixed sized grapes, of the old Merlot grapes in particular. July was consistantly hot and sunny inducing early water stress, stopping plant growth which is propitious for the development of small grapes - a promise of quality and concentration. Ripening was stimulated by a hot summer followed by a mild late season. The contrasting cool nights helped to protect the fruit and promote anthocyan and aroma synthesis. With the dry weather, water stress was sustained but moderate, perfect for producing polyphenols. Carfeul work in the vineyard and green harvesting focused on eliminating the bunches containing mixed sized grapes. The 10 mm rainfall on September 9 came as a blessing, resuscitating the physiological process and attaining simultaneous technical, phenolic and aromatic maturity. The fine weather continued until the end of the harvest with alternating fine hot days (28° to 32°C) and cool nights. The harvest lasted 4 weeks: 15 days with 6 half days and 9 full days, starting September 22 with the young Merlot vines. The Cabernet grapes were picked just after, between October 5 to 14. As a result of the water deficit, the grapes were extremely small producing a higher phenolic content than in 2009. A good balance was achieved through careful and precise vinification and gentle extraction with a controlled fermentation temperature (around 26°C) to limit the effects of the high alcohol content.