While the estate known as Chateau Haut-Bailly dates back to 1461, its wine production began in 1530, falling into the hands of the de Leuvarde and Le Bailly families in 1630. It was purchased in 1998 by Robert G Wilmers, a Harvard-educated banker, and his French wife Elisabeth and under their care, the estate has begun producing some of the best wines in its history. The cellars and production procedures were renovated and modernised and this year, the Chateau itself was awarded government recognition of its cultural and vinious heritage.
The estate’s second wine, La Parde de Haut Bailly, was released in 1967, first sold under the name of Domaine de La Parde and changed to its current iteration in 1979. A blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 has been widely praised as a “gorgeous” second wine with “feisty” characteristics and a smooth, supple texture.
"The 2016 La Parde de Haut-Bailly, matured in 30% new oak, has a strict, pencil-lead-infused bouquet that demands a little coaxing from the glass. I appreciate the delineation of this second wine, which is quite focused, with a light marine aroma. The medium-bodied palate exerts gentle grip. Finely structured with just a touch of cracked black pepper, this builds in the mouth to quite a linear, grippy finish that suggests that it will last longer than many might afford it. Excellent. 2021-2032"
91 Points, Vinous
"A firm and velvety red with berry and tobacco character and hints of walnuts. Medium body, round and juicy tannins and a medium finish. A blend of 47 per cent merlot, 47 per cent cabernet sauvignon and six per cent cabernet franc. Second wine of Château Haut-Bailly. Try after 2021."
91 Points, JamesSuckling.com
As to the second wine of Château Haut Bailly, it too is fabulous stuff in 2016. A blend of 47% each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Cabernet Franc, the 2016 La Parde Haut Bailly offers notable purity as well as medium to full-bodied notes of blackcurrants, dried herbs, flowers, and spice. It’s a layered, seamless wine from this estate that has no hard edges, beautiful balance, and a great finish. It’s already delivering loads of pleasure but will keep for 15+ years.
94 points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
The 2016 La Parde Haut-Bailly is gorgeous, supple and wonderfully inviting. Even so, there is quite a bit of supporting structure that gives the wine its energy and overall shape. Smoke, tobacco, cedar, licorice and leather add aromatic nuance, but it is the wine's textural depth that stands out most. La Parde is a second wine that overdelivers, big time. 2021-2036
93 points, Vinous (January 2019)
The medium garnet-purple colored 2016 La Parde de Haut-Bailly comes bursting out of the glass with cassis, redcurrant jelly, fragrant earth and dried Provence herbs scents plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, firm, grainy textured and packed with fruit, it delivers a long and mineral-laced finish.
91 points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
Though wine has been made in Pessac-Léognan since ancient Roman times, it was only in 1987 that the neighbouring villages of Pessac and Léognan were singled out from the surrounding Graves region and given their own appellation. The designation acknowledges that Pessac-Léognan is home to the most acclaimed properties of Bordeaux’s Graves region, such as the Premier Cru Château Haut-Brion.
The vineyards of Pessac-Léognan, just south of the city of Bordeaux, are crowded by suburban sprawl. About 3,000 acres are dedicated mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown for red wines, with a small portion devoted to Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and other grapes for white wines. Pessac-Léognan red wines are elegant and concentrated, with medium to full body. They offer distinct aromas and flavours of mineral and earth, and can have lush fruit or smoky tobacco character. Pessac-Léognan white wines are dry, unlike the famous sweet white wines from nearby Sauternes. They are generally crisp and minerally with citrus notes, often with rich character from oak aging and capable of improving with additional age.