Medoc crus classes 2009
Château Haut-Batailley, Pauillac 5CC
Decanter average score: 18.75pts/20 (95+/100pts)
Individual judge’s scores: SB 19 AG 19 SS 18.5
Owned by the Borie family, this is the sister château of the better known, more highly regarded Grand-Puy-Lacoste (see left). It generally has less structure than the latter, and is aged in a lesser proportion of new oak. The wine was often undistinguished in the past, but the last decade has seen a big step up in quality and consistency. The 2009 has always been splendid so it’s not a huge shock to find it equal to its sister estate here, but perhaps in 15 years their differences in quality and style will be more marked.
SB Stern, brooding black fruits nose, with ample oak. Voluptuous fruit, highly concentrated, with assertive but not tough tannins. This is built for the long haul and lacks immediate charm, but shows remarkable depth of fruit and intensity. Sufficient grip to ensure a long evolution. Not showy or exuberant, but has immense reserve and potential. Very long.
AG Gorgeous, inviting nose of creamy blackcurrant and plum. Dense and concentrated palate but with no lack of elegance. Oak totally subsumed, tannins present but very ripe. Fine wine with bags of ageing potential.
SS Fine, deep and elegant cassis nose. Good concentration, all elegance and natural ripeness, extraordinarily smooth at this stage, but the tannins are there to back it up – perfect texture. Still young but a great future.
Price £29–£45 Widely available at leading Bordeaux merchants
Judges: Steven Brook, Alun Griffiths MW and Steven Spurrier