WSDC Event - Chateau Haut-Bailly Dinner

What: Chateau Haut-Bailly Dinner  
When: 27 Feb 13 ,19:00 -22:30
Where: The Mountbatten Room, Royal Automobile Club SW1Y 5HS map
See summary here



Most of our Club members love their claret, (in fact, probably all of them do!) and I’m sure that they have enjoyed Château Haut-Bailly over the years. It is used to be an affordable pleasure, but it seems that the rest of the world has discovered this gem, and after 2005 no longer offers the ‘fabulous value’ of the vintages we see tonight.

Derek Smedley MW is a long standing authority in the world of wine, and is a big fan of Haut-Bailly. I have taken advantage of his knowledge, and so you have an opportunity to try some very interesting wines at this event.

The elegant Mountbatten room in the RAC is an excellent venue for our Club dinner. We are having a Bordeaux evening, so you will be welcomed with Château de Sours La Source Blanc 2011, a fairly light wine, with fresh and fruity aromas, as you’d expect from Sauvignon Blanc, and 20% Semillon. This is crisp on the palate with a long finish, an appealing aperitif.

Derek has pointed us towards Château Brown (Pessac-Léognan) 2010 for our first wine at dinner. This is an award winner at blind tastings, and we are lucky to find it. 65% Sauvignon Blanc, with the balance Semillon, and an interesting comparison with the de Sours. The wine writers keep saying ‘delicious, punchy, appealing, and fresh’ – please form your own thoughts.

Now for the red wines. Château Haut-Bailly has been owned by Robert Wilmers for 15 years now, and the estate continues to enjoy his investment and attention. Cabernet Sauvignon takes up 65% of the vineyard, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, and together they give an elegant, well defined wine which works superbly with food. Often sold alongside ‘first growths’, particularly Haut Brion, this château has a superb reputation.

La Parde de Haut-Bailly 2005 is the second wine, and takes a third of the vineyard’s production. It has elegance, refinement and a silky texture, yet is more forward than the grand vin.

Château Haut-Bailly 2004 is a treat. The nose has been described as ‘so complete’, aromatic, pure, and well-defined with lively fruit. Deep crimson in colour with a lovely balance on the palate, we’ll have to try it!

The third red wine of the evening is Château Haut-Bailly 1995, which has a dark and rich colour, with aromas to match. The palate is fresh and lively, indicating that although this lovely wine is nearly 20 years old, it has lots of life ahead, should you be lucky enough to have sufficient stock.

The last wine of the evening is a sauternes, but at the time of writing, Derek has still to make his choice. It will be an interesting one! I’m grateful to Derek for speaking to the Club at the dinner, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm.

Dress Code: Lounge Suits.

Guests: £115
Members: £110

Dates for the Diary:
19th March 2013: Blind Pinot Noir Tasting at 1 Carlton House
21st May 2013: Alsace Dinner with Séverine Schlumberger, at The Savile Club.

Booking Form

Vintages available from The Wine Society:
Château Haut-Bailly, 2006, Pessac-Léognan
Château Haut-Bailly, 2007, Pessac-Léognan
Château Haut-Bailly, 2008, Pessac-Léognan