Lots of blackcurrant with crushed stone, licorice, iodine and graphite. Blue fruit, too. It’s full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins that are refined and polished. Seamless. Excellent second wine.
(95-96) points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2021)
The 2020 Haut-Bailly II is superb. The tannins and overall structure are suggestive of an important Pessac-Léognan that is going to need time to come around. Dark blue/purplish fruit, lavender and menthol are front and center. A wine of savory energy and intensity, Haut-Bailly II sizzles with energy.
(92-94) points, Vinous (June 2021)
The 2020 Haut-Bailly II was picked September 9–25. It offers a mélange of red and black fruit on the nose, hints of morels/undergrowth lending complexity, then becoming more floral with aeration, all quite mercurial in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit that gently grips. Very marine in style, shucked oyster shells infusing the sappy finish, which leaves an impressively long aftertaste considering this is the Deuxième Vin. Excellent.
(91-93) points, Vinous (May 2021)
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.