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.
The 2021 Haut-Batailley is a few steps up from the second wine. Dark and ample in feel, with broad shoulders, the Grand Vin possesses notable depth and intensity right out of the gate. Black cherry, plum, licorice, spice and leather race across the palate. Readers will find a Pauillac of power and depth that are typical of the southern part of the appellation.
(93-95) points, Vinous (May 2022)
The 2021 Haut-Batailley is a charming, medium to full-bodied, fleshy wine evocative of cassis, sweet berries, pipe tobacco and pencil shavings. Supple and succulent, with an ample core of fruit and ripe, powdery tannins, it will likely take on additional depth with further élevage. Significant replanting of fallow parcels is underway at this Pauillac estate, but those vines are currently relegated to the second wine, the Verso of Haut-Batailley.
(90-93) points, Wine Advocate (April 2022)
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.