Haut-Batailley was created in 1942 when brothers François and Marcel Borie divided the fifth growth Pauillac, Château Batailley into two separate properties. François Borie—who purchased an additional 15 hectares of vines from Château Duhart-Milon in 1951—and his family continued to run the property situated at the southern end of the appellation (bordering Saint-Julien) until 2017 when the Cazes family from the nearby and highly regarded Lynch Bages purchased Haut-Batailley. Jean-Charles Cazes has wasted little time renovating the cellar and planting more Cabernet and in the first three vintages the price has remained the same while the quality continues to improve.
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Powerful, deep-coloured wine with a considerable tannic core. Mellow fruit provides a suave texture but the pixelated tannins are still palpable. Intense, brooding with lots of extract, the finish warm, the oak just present. Needs time to knit.
17++ points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
This is really minerally and stony with lots of chewy tannins. Medium-to full-bodied with a clean, fresh finish. Very classic Pauillac. Salty at the end with bitter citrus.
(94-95) points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2021)
A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot aging in French oak barriques, 60% new, the 2020 Haut-Batailley weighs in with 13.6% alcohol, a pH of 3.85 and an IPT of 81. Deep purple-black in color, it opens with seducing, beautifully pure notes of blackcurrant jelly, juicy blackberries and warm plums, plus hints of chocolate mint, lilacs and forest floor with a touch of ground cloves. The refreshing, medium-bodied palate gives a great burst of crunchy black berries, framed by finely grained tannins, finishing with a minty lift.
(92-94) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Haut-Batailley was opened for a good hour before I commenced penning my note. This will be matured for 14 months in 60% new oak. It gently unfolds in the glass to reveal blackberry, faint sea spray scents (a whiff of the old Gironde estuary) and just a touch of crushed stone. This is well defined though not powerful. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins on the entry that frame the bright blackberry and raspberry fruit. This Pauillac conveys superb energy, especially toward the Japanese nori-infused finish, awakening and revivifying the senses. It is a classically sculpted and very harmonious Haut-Batailley that will give 25–30 years of drinking pleasure, but should be cellared for 5–6 years.
(92-94) points, Vinous (May 2021)
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.