Château Haut-Batailley: A Sleeping Beauty Awakens
Château Haut-Batailley, Grand Cru Classé 1855, returns to centre stage with its second wine, Verso.
The Cazes family, the owners of Château Lynch-Bages and Château Ormes de Pez, acquired this elegant old estate in 2017, and have since been working to write a new chapter.
An estate undergoing a revival
When the Aspic Tower–the gateway to the Pauillac appellation–comes into view, your eye is immediately drawn to the bright pink walls of a New Orleans style manor house. Although the buildings of Château Haut-Batailley have stood at the boundary between Saint-Julien and Pauillac since the 19th century, it wasn’t until 2017 that the estate set out on a path towards greater visibility, as Jean-Charles Cazes, General Manager of Cazes properties, who began his career in São Paulo, explains.
“I thought these buildings were beautiful, but to brighten them up, I got a bit carried away with the colour! I really loved “Samba” red, which was the name on the paint colour guide. It’s stayed like that, as something of a nod to my time in Brazil”.Jean-Charles Cazes, General Manager of Cazes properties
Although the pink paint may be the most visible sign of change, the Haut-Batailley vineyard has also been profoundly transformed in the space of five years. In these gravel soils, extending out from Château Lynch-Bages, the new owners were delighted to discover nearly 20 hectares which, for historical reasons, hadn’t been planted yet, but which were under the Pauillac appellation. As Jean-Charles Cazes explains: “we saw this as a rather incredible opportunity – having these hectares ready to be planted, extending out from the vineyard. It’s quite rare.” As a result, Château Haut-Batailley almost doubled the surface area of its vineyards, going from 22 to 40 planted hectares: a major step in the transformation of Château Haut-Batailley.
The Cazes family also endowed the estate with its own technical staff, who manage the winemaking process directly on-site.
Improving the biodiversity of the estate and setting up agroforestry plantations are also among the château’s priorities.
And to highlight this new momentum, a new label has been created. Inspired by the poetic world of Gustave Doré, the label features a luminous gold engraving of the Aspic Tower, the symbol of Haut-Batailley. For Verso, the estate’s second wine, the Aspic Tower is on the “verso” side of the bottle, on the back label.
New distribution for Haut-Batailley
Rejuvenating an estate also means setting up new distribution arrangements. And this is how Jean-Charles Cazes decided to choose Twins. The marketing of Château Haut-Batailley and of the second wine, Verso, began with the 2017 vintage. As Pauline Lagarrigue, Export Director at Twins, points out, the goal is to “clearly convey the new DNA of Haut-Batailley”. It’s a stage that’s set to begin, now that consumers will have more wine tasting experiences.
“We were limited by our low wine stocks, because in 2017, there was no stock at the estate. We’re starting to keep some wine, while continuing to supply the wine futures market, so we can hold events and bring the brand to life on the markets. It’s really just the beginning.”Jean-Charles Cazes
The wines of Haut-Batailley are elegant, silky, robust, “very typical of the Pauillac appellation”, with the charm of Saint-Julien, to which Haut-Batailley is adjacent. Wines with excellent ageing potential, which can also be enjoyed young. The second wine, Verso, is more supple, with bright fruit for immediate enjoyment.
Haut-Batailley and Verso provide consumers with a gateway to a world-renowned appellation.
“With Haut-Batailley and Verso, consumers can get closer to the Pauillac appellation. It’s a prestigious appellation encompassing the largest number of fine wines in the world, but it can be out of reach for some consumers. Haut-Batailley and Verso are under the Cazes umbrella, while being slightly more affordable”.Pauline Lagarrigue, Export Director at Twins
Château Haut-Batailley 2017 and Verso 2017 are currently available on the markets.