Vintage 2002: A Pleasant Surprise

Vintage 2002 : A Pleasant Surprise 

In the summer of 2002 weather conditions were not as bright and sunny as they had been in previous years. But, in the most unexpected way, an exceptionally fine late season, dry and sunny with beneficial cool winds, completely saved the 2002 vintage, enabling us to wait for total ripening of the grapes. Slow development of the tannins plus high acid content forced us to spread picking over a longer period. More than three weeks elapsed between picking the first Merlots on September 20th and the last Cabernets on October 15th. A vibrating table fitted with a sifting-grid behind the stemmer turned out to be indispensable this year in eliminating any unwanted, under-size berries caused by the coulure or millerandage.

In the first days of pre-fermentation maceration, the deep colour and ease of extraction warned us that we had to vinify with finesse, without pushing it, to avoid extraction of the harder tannins whose astringency would be emphasized by high acid levels. Very gentle pumping over and controlled maceration were carefully conducted right throughout the period of vatting.

The Haut-Bailly 2002 is a powerful wine, pure, elegant and showing beautiful complexity. Superbly balanced it presents an intense, fruity character, suave freshness and a refined, well-bred texture. Built to last, long-cellaring may be envisaged for this great palindrome year.

Harvest: September 20th – October 15th   
Château Haut-Bailly blend: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon – 35% Merlot – 3% Cabernet Franc
La Parde Haut-Bailly blend: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon – 32% Merlot – 20% Cabernet Franc