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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.
2011 is a great tribute to the Haut-Bailly terroir, expressed fully through the characteristics of this vintage. A classic nose of soft fresh fruits supported by a strong yet fine tannic structure; this is a wine of real precision, stamped with the seal of Haut-Bailly.
Following a very wet Autumn, the Winter of 2010 and Spring 2011 were marked by drought. In Europe, Spring 2011 was the hottest and driest in 50 years, with only 78 millimeters of rain falling between March and June, compared to the average precipitation of 298 millimeters for the same period. The drought triggered early flowering and fruit formation in May. There was a heat wave on the 26th and 27th of June. Fortunately, this unusually warm Spring was balanced by a cool and rather wet Summer, which allowed the physiological development of the wines to start again. Finally, an Indian Summer in September guaranteed a perfectly ripe harvest.
By the beginning of September, thanks to a certain amount of thinning out, enabling the air to circulate around the bunches, the grapes were perfectly ripe and healthy with dense aromas and excellent structure. The harvest started on the 9th September with the young Merlot plots. The harvest lasted three weeks under dry and sunny weather – perfect conditions for harvesting. Rather low yields of Cabernet Sauvignon were balanced by a more generous production of Merlots. The grapes were thoroughly sorted in the vineyard as well as in the cellars, where a brand new de-stemming machine precisely and gently separates the stems from the grapes. The alcoholic fermentation was kept at 26°C in order to protect the fruit from too much extraction.