A spectacular year for the Cabernet Sauvignons. Rich on the nose and in the mouth, very balanced, delicious and very smooth, with solid tannins. Still in its youth, this Haut-Bailly 1996 embodies the great classic style of the wines of Bordeaux. Perfect served with a pheasant with hazelnuts and foie gras.
Parker : 92 / 100
Wine Advocate-Parker :
Tasted at the château, the 1996 Haut Bailly is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. It has an attractive bouquet with blackcurrant pastilles, briary, a touch of gravel and dried orange peel. As I commented a few years ago, this is a 1996 that is not as immediate as others, but seems to find its voice with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a soy-tinged opening. This is well balanced and quite rounded in the mouth, quite masculine and perhaps having dispensed with some of the freshness and vitality that it showed in numerous tastings in the previous decade. There is a noticeable salinity here, lending it a marine-like finish with black olive on the aftertaste: a highly enjoyable Haut-Bailly, perchance one soon to reach the end of its plateau? Whatever -- I like where this is at now. Tasted July 2016.