|Robert G. Wilmers, erfolgreicher US-Banker, übernahm gemeinsam mit seiner französischen Frau Elisabeth Wilmers 1998 das Gut von Daniel Sanders, einem Negociant in Barsac. Der Winemaker Gabriel Vialard jedoch blieb der gleiche - das ist auch gut so. Mit seiner Erfahrung und dem nötigen Geld von Wilmers ging es für das Château steil nach oben. Im Jahr 2000 wurde der komplette Keller renoviert und seit dem Jahr 2005 steigt die Qualität der Weine stetig an. 30 Hektar stehen unter Reben, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc und 3% Petit Verdot. Die Tropfen sind typisch Graves mit einem Terroirausdruck, so klar und eindeutig, wie es ihn nur dort gibt. Die Hälfte aller Fässer wird jährlich erneuert.
19 VINUM: "Einmal mehr ist hier ein unerhört präziser, vollmundiger und doch enorm eleganter, nur langsam im Mund ausklingender, grosser Wein gelungen, der blumige Frische mit saftiger Fruchtigkeit verbindet und sogar die kleine krautige Spitze zeigt, die grosse Bordeaux auszeichnet. Grosse Transparenz und umwerfende Qualität der so dichten wie frischen Tannine."
19 RENÈ GABRIEL´S BX TOTAL: "(53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 47% hl/ha) Tiefes, dichtes, samtenes, dunkles, komplexes Bouquet, schwarze Beeren, Korinthen, Tabak, Edelhölzer, schwarze Schokolade, fein Lakritze. Konzentrierter, vielschichtiger, kraftvoller, eleganter Gaumen mit kräftiger, dunkler Frucht, viel gutem Tannin, samtener, fein muskulöser Struktur, dichter, vielfältiger Aromatik, sehr langer, kraftvoller Abgang mit vielen Rückaromen. 19/20 2024 - 2050"
98 THE WINE CELLAR INSIDER: "Deep in color, with intensity of fruit, silky tannins, length and volume. There is a lot going on here. On the attack, the wine opens with ripe, spice filled plums, moving next to darker fruits. The fruit and flavor builds in the mouth and really sticks with you. The refinement of the texture, depth of flavor and the purity of the fruit is what you´ll notice, before being impressed with the length. The wine was made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon , 40% Merlot , 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc . The wine reached 13.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Grand Vin was produced from 55% of the harvest, which took place from September 26 to October 18."
98-99 JAMES SUCKLING: "This young wine shows such pinpoint precision with a full body, dense fruit and gorgeous intensity. Muscular yet toned and beautiful. It really builds on the finish. Very fine-grained. So long and beautiful. Sophisticated power. Oyster shell and iodine undertones. Traditional style yet with a modern interpretation. Savory."
97 DECANTER: "Hugely successful, a wine where the architecture becomes clearer with every minute that it remains in your mouth. Each strand of those softly-spun tannins really stands out, giving effortless support to the cassis, charcoal, tobacco and slate. Over it all, the most appealing, gently curling woodsmoke comes right on up through the palate. The whole effect is of a soft, caressing texture that manages to also be hugely intense. A wonderfully complex layering of flavours, absolutely no doubt that this is going to age beautifully. Harvest lasted for 12 days but was spread out over four weeks. Alcohol levels are the same as last year because they had no blockages of ripening. The blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak. 3.7pH." Drink: 2027 - 2050.
96-98 THE WINEADVOCATE: "The 2016 Haut Bailly is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked between 26 September until 18 October. Coming in with 13.6% alcohol and an IPT of 81, which is quite close to 2010, this was quite closed at first and so I allowed my sample 15-20 minutes to open while discussing the vintage with Véronique Sanders and technical manager, Gabriel Vialard. It has a classic bouquet that is certainly less opulent and extravagant than recent vintages. This is more controlled and focused, beautifully delineated with blackberry, cedar and Earl Grey aromas that gently waft from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine-grain tannin, sappy with superb delineation and real weight and presence in the mouth. There is just the right amount of spice and salinity, the latter beckoning you back for another sip and there is a haunting pencil lead note that forms the closing credits on the aftertaste. What a brilliant Haut-Bailly, perhaps the best that I have tasted in almost 20 years of tasting at this estate."
96-98 WINE ENTHUSIAST: "96–98. Barrel Sample. Firm tannins cannot mask the fact that this aromatic wine is gorgeous, rich and fruity. It has a powerful structure to sustain the black plum and berry flavors. It is an impressive and concentrated wine, ready for the long haul."
94-97+ ANTONIO GALLONI: "The 2016 Haut-Bailly is a huge, powerful wine that explodes in all directions. Black cherry, smoke, tobacco, licorice, menthol, incense and gravel are all pushed forward, but it is the wine´s volume and pure intensity that stand out most. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is likely to be a slow-maturing wine, but even today the phenomenal finish is a marvel. The 2016 is a great Haut-Bailly in the making. It will reward several decades of cellaring."