En Primeur 2022 New Release: Château Haut Bailly, Château Petit-Village, Château Pontet-Canet, Château Calon-Ségur
15 June 2023
Haut Bailly is operating on a new level of class and precision which is clear from a host of critic reviews:
“The 2022 Château Haut Bailly is going to be one of the legendary vintages at this château.” - Jeb Dunnuck
“This Haut-Bailly has a haunting beauty, the kind of wine that will bring people to tears!” - Neal Martin
“This is in serious contention as the best vintage ever produced at Haut Bailly” - Jeff Leve
An estate that is at once both truly historic and very forward-thinking, under the ownership of the American Wilmers family and stewardship of Veronique Sanders, Haut Bailly has been producing wines of incredible quality for the past 10-15 years – although of course their history goes back way, way further than this. In fact the estate has some of the oldest vines, and one of the largest proportions of old vines, of any estate in the region. In 2022 the presence of old vines was all-important as the deep, complex root structures helped the vines manage through the long, dry season. This year the Grand Vin is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Harvest started on the 7th September, one of the earliest on record. It is clear that the 2022 is going to go down in the history books as one of the great vintages of this estate, we cannot recommend it enough.
Now the second vintage produced in their new cellars, this incredible investment has truly raised the bar of quality at the estate.
“The 2022 Château Petit-Village is another brilliant wine from this estate” Jeb Dunnuck
Acquired by the Moulin family (owners of neighbouring Château Beauregard and department store chain, Galeries Lafayette) in 2020, Petit-Village is now run by a member and representative of the family, Augustin Belloy, alongside Vincent Priou, Managing Director of the Moulin family vineyards. Currently executing a momentous transformation of the estate, the pair set themselves the mission to return Petit-Village’s single vineyard (historically known as the “Golden Triangle”) to its former glory, by prioritising the restoration and preservation of their exceptional terroir, located at the heights of the Catusseau plateau. A restructuring of the vineyard and transition to certified-organic farming mark the first steps in their journey to take Petit-Village to the top of the pack.
“Sleek and sophisticated, I like the immediate tension and hold of the wine, supple and gently succulent with really beautiful texture to the tannins” - Georgina Hindle
Pontet-Canet stands alone not only in Pauillac, but in Bordeaux. They have long blazed their own trail, in both the vineyard and the cellar, and the results of their work are often extraordinary.
As Jane Anson writes in Inside Bordeaux, “Everybody’s favourite Super-Second story, Pontet-Canet has been hugely influential over the past decade, cheerleading the idea of a classified estate embracing a more ecologically-sound approach through organics and biodynamics.” In the 2022 season, they sprayed chamomile infusions and clay on their vines, to help them cope with the heatwaves – the clay playing the role of sunscreen. Their healthy, living soils, nurtured by biodynamic preparations and composts, are well equipped to support the vine’s resilience to drought. These farming practices, added to their deep-rooting old vines (averaging 55 years’ old), served them well in the hot and dry 2022, evident in the vivacious acidity of the wine. So many of the tasting notes – our own, and those of the critics – celebrate the energy that courses though the 2022 Pontet-Canet. The “only downside”, according to the château, was the low yields (approximately 20% lower than the 2021 vintage).
“I very much admire the precision and vibrancy here. Unforgettable.” - Antonio Galloni
“This is Pauillac in all its powerful, energetic glory.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
There is nothing shy about this wine, which embraces the opulent side of the 2022 vintage.
“It's big, sure, but it is also very bright and energetic.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“The palate is classically styled with impressive mid-palate depth.” - Neal Martin
Calon-Ségur is one of the most sought-after wines of Saint-Estèphe. It tends to find its way deep into the hearts of those who are introduced to it, in much the same way as it did with one of its original owners, Nicolas de Ségur. Such was his love for the property that, despite also owning two of what became the First Growths, legend has it that he stated, “I make my wine at Lafite and Latour, but my heart is in Calon.” It is believed that this story is what led to the estate’s famous use of the heart symbol on their label. Having been the life-long passion of the eccentric Madame Gasqueton until her death in 2011, it was purchased by a major French insurer and since 2012 investment has been constant and significant – with a drive to express the uniqueness of this particular piece of precious gravel and clay terroir with ever more purity. The key work currently underway is increasing the planting densities in the vineyard, which have been unusually low; by 2032 everything is expected to be at 10,000 vines per ha, with a rise in proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon to 70% (from 53% in 2018).