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Chateau Batailley Pauillac 2016  - First Bottle


96 James Suckling -
Shows beautiful, ripe cabernet aromas with currants, plums, meat and smoke. Flowers, too. Full body, deep and ripe fruit and exquisite, ripe tannins. Flavorful finish. Tight right now, but shows excellent potential. Best ever.
95 Wine Enthusiast -
This wine shows all the power of the vintage, with rich tannins and sumptuous black-currant fruit. A lot of expensive work has gone into bringing this estate up to this level and this excellent bottling is the result. Drink the wine from 2025.
93-95 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Matured in 60% new oak. It has an intense graphite infused bouquet with fine delineation, some freshly picked Pauillac mint coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin that grip the mouth insistently; with graphite and tobacco-infused black fruit dominating, this a classically styled Batailley in the vein of previous vintages with the elegance coming through towards the finish. This is one of those wines that grows on you, perhaps not as easy or as charming to taste as other Pauillac 2016s at this stage, but knowing this property well, I know how it can blossom when it matters, which is when you and I drink it.
93 Decanter -
Upfront and confident rich sweetness of cedar, damson and blackberry. Goes for impact from evident oak, firm acidity and extremely impressive tannins.
93 Wine Spectator -
This is a bit subtle and old-school in approach, with singed juniper and alder elements out front followed by perfumy, lightly mulled currant and cherry fruit flavors. The wood notes reemerge through the finish along with savory and sanguine threads. Will age well; for fans of the style. Best from 2024 through 2038.
93 Falstaff -
Dark ruby, opaque core, discreet brightening at the rim, fine hints of prune, a touch of fig and tobacco. Medium complexity, nuances of blackberry and cassis, integrated tannins, somewhat developed, subtle nougat on the finish, a charming food wine.
93 Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider -
If you like, and coax the glass just a but you can find cigar box, tobacco, truffle, smoke and blackberries. The wine is medium/full bodied with round tannins and a crispy bite of cassis in the almost creamy finish. Give the wine 7-10 years in the cellar for the Pauillac firmness to subside and ennjoy it over the following 2 decades or more. The wine was made from a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.
90+ Jeb Dunnuck -
Slightly difficult to read, with a tight, closed style on the palate, the 2016 Château Batailley offers enjoyable dark fruits, leafy tobacco, new leather, and charred oak aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, nicely balanced, and fresh, it needs to be forgotten for 3-4 years, at which point I suspect it will come closer to matching the barrel review and drink nicely for 10-15 years or more.

Technical Details

  • Blend85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
  • WinemakerArnaud Durand
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • AppellationPauillac
  • Oak60% new oak
  • Aging/Cooperage16-18 months

Chateau Batailley Pauillac 2016

Cabernet Blends  |  France
JS96, WE95, WA93-95, TWI94, DC93, WS93, FS93, JL93, JD90+

38% off retail!
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Château Batailley stands among the oldest estates in Pauillac, originating after a battle (or “bataille”) during the Hundred Years’ War between the French and English on the very same estate in 1453. Vines have grown amidst the lush landscapes here since the 17th century, with owners modernizing and improving the land and winemaking efforts over the centuries. Today, the 5th Growth Pauillac, famously classified in 1855, has garnered consistently high including 96 points from James Suckling, alongside Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate calling it, “a classically styled Batailley…” And it really is. For under $80, this is a historic and rich Bordeaux you’ll be ecstatic to delight in and savor endlessly.

After the battle that took place on this land in 1453, later that same year, the French also recaptured the neighboring Château Latour, which famously signaled the end of the Hundred Years’ War. Drenched in history, the estate is primed at the southwestern tip of the Pauillac appellation, a few kilometers from the town of the same name, and grows vines across 60 hectares of vineyard land atop deep and very old günz, silica, and sand gravel soils. Averaging 40 years of age, the vines are divided into growths of 70% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot. In efforts to preserve the lands that grow their famed wines, the estate follows eco-friendly winemaking protocols and intentionally works to improve soil drainage and yields to reduce wasted resources.

Committed to rigorous top-to-bottom winemaking practices, the vineyard management team tastes through all the grapes prior to harvest to select the optimal timing for collection. A manual harvest and initial sorting takes place once the plots are fully ripe, before undergoing a second sorting, destemming, crushing, placement in heat-regulated vats, cold alcoholic fermentation, warm-post-fermentation maceration (to refine tannins), and then, depending on the taste, draining and pressing the marc before malolactic fermentation in barrels and vats. All of this leads to a period of barrel aging in 60% new French oak for 16-18 months, with clarification over the last six months prior to blending. All lots are tasted separately, classified, and blended at the winery before final bottling.

This arduous process ensures that the best fruits are adequately handled to develop some of the top wines in the region. And, in this fantastic 2016 vintage, it certainly pays off. This gorgeous Pauillac – with a cepage of 85% cabernet sauvignon, 12% merlot, and 3% petit verdot – displays a firmly tannic, full-bodied, deeply fruited, wonderfully spiced wine – with balanced acidity and an encore of woodsy baking spices. Smoky aromas of seared cedar and juniper at the front, and notes of vibrant currant, cherry, and plum, followed by dried flowers, blackberry, tobacco leaf, fresh leather, smoky oak, and savory dried meats. It is an impossibly lavish drinking experience that has an exquisite and flavorful finish – a simply beautiful rendition of a historically rich Bordeaux that simply can’t be missed – especially for our epic First Bottle price point!

PAIRING IDEAS: Let’s get weird – because why not? Of course, you could pair your favorite cut of premium steak or lamb with Pauillac, but you could take the less traveled road and try something more untraditional, like a kung pao chicken. The spiced chicken with sauteed vegetables, peanuts, and chiles oddly complements the warmth, spice, and acidity in this rich red wine for a dramatic take on a comfort meal.

About the Producer

In a merry tale of vinous delight, Château Batailley, a distinguished 5th Growth Pauillac hailing from the revered 1855 Classification, proudly stands as Borie-Manoux’s crowning jewel. Its moniker finds its roots in the historic clash (or "bataille") of the Hundred Years’ War, circa 1453, marking the very spot where the château and vineyards flourish today. Picture this: amidst the skirmish, the gallant French reclaimed the neighboring Château Latour from the English, a pivotal moment that spelled the end of the English dominion in Aquitaine after a whopping 300 years! But the story doesn’t end there! Legend has it that vines first graced these hallowed grounds in the 16th century, setting the stage for centuries of vinicultural splendor. And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance—the enchanting 12-acre (5-hectare) gardens, lovingly crafted by none other than Barillet-Deschamps, the green-thumbed maestro of landscapes in the court of Napoleon III, back in 1850. Oh, what tales these vines and gardens could whisper if only they could talk!