Château Batailley, Pauillac 2011
Château Batailley is the larger estate of neighbouring Château Haut-Batailley, the two estates having been split in 1942 by previous owners Francois and Marcel Borie in a bid to stave off future inheritance issues by dividing up the land. Today the 57-hectare property is run by Emile Casteja of leading Bordeaux negociants, Borie-Manoux. The vineyards are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The vines are planted on a deep gravel bed underpinned by clay and limestone sub-soils. The average age of the vines is 40 years and harvesting is manual. Vinification takes place in a combination of oak barrels, stainless steel tanks and cement vats, followed by 18 months maturation in oakbarriques (50% new). The name of the estate comes from the Anglo/French battles fought in the area during the Hundred Years War in the 14th century. The estate was ranked Cinquieme Grand Cru Classé (Fifth Growth) in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification of the Medoc and the wine must rate as among the best value in Pauillac.
An intense ruby-red in colour. An appealing and fragrant nose of cassis, graphite and pencil shavings. The palate is dry and reserved at first but opens out to reveal a soft and ripe layer of mature black fruits. The finish is lengthy and the acidity well balanced.