Around April 15, the quick and even budbreak was the first factor in the vintage’s overall regularity. The spring was warm and dry, with ideal conditions during the crucial phases of flowering, fruit set, and bunch closure. June and July were marked by intense heat and the total absence of rain. Drought set in and caused moderate water stress that called a halt to vegetative growth. Providential showers in late July brought on quick véraison (colour change), focused over 15 days only. The vines were splendid and healthy looking from August until the end of the harvest with a magnificent leaf canopy and well-distributed bunches of deeply-coloured grapes. The weather in August was cooler than usual and helped preserve the aromatic potential of the grapes. The grapes were perfectly ripe and healthy.
The harvest took place in a serene atmosphere thanks to ideal weather and the château's faithful team of experienced pickers. Ripeness and quality of the grapes made sorting almost unnecessary in the vineyard as well as in the cellar. A newly planted plot of Petit Verdot produced superb grapes. The consistency of the quality in every plot is the hallmark of a truly fine vintage.
Powerful Cabernets dominate the blend of this Château Haut-Bailly 2015. Rich, fleshy and dense, they harmonise with the well-structured Merlots. The Petits Verdots are dark and spicy, and bring a touch of complexity to the wine.
James Suckling, Mars 2016
This is a vivid and powerful red with lots of bright fruit and spice character. Full body, chewy tannins and loads of fruit on the finish. Firm and focused tannins. Lots of energy and vibrance. Spice and violet leaf undertone. Pure fruit. Pure structure. 98-99
Neal Martin, April 2016
Deep in color, the bouquet is very intense with multilayered blackberry, blueberry, crème de cassis and subtle black olive aromas, introverted at first but soon racing out of the blocks with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, quite firm tannin. This is an Haut-Bailly with real backbone, real sense of purpose. It could have tipped over into being overpowering due to that intense Merlot, but the acidity keeps everything in check and the finish demonstrates wonderful tension. In particular, the aftertaste is incredibly long in the mouth. This Haut Bailly is up there with the 2009 and 2010 - a bravura Pessac-Léognan destined for long-term ageing. 95-97
Vinum, May 2016
A delicate and promising bouquet with high quality, seamlessly firm, polished and fresh tannins, and a whole of outstanding harmony and subtle precision; a magnificent wine made with inspiration and reticence. 19