Chateau Haut Bailly   Haut Bailly

1998 Haut Bailly

By Chateau Haut Bailly

1998 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

One must pause and consider the 1998 Haut Bailly from Chateau Haut Bailly, a consummate expression of Pessac-Leognan's unique terroir. As I reflect upon this considerable vintage, my experience of Bordeaux's nuances compels me to articulate the defining qualities that set it apart in the pantheon of fine wines.


An Exemplary Vintage with a Distinctive Character

The 1998 vintage in Bordeaux was one marked by a challenging early growing season that ultimately yielded to an auspicious September. Herein lies the tenacity of Chateau Haut Bailly's vineyard management. Patience and expertise were rewarded with a crop that transcended expectations, particularly for those estates south of the Garonne River, benefitting from its microclimate.

The supreme assemblage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a touch of Cabernet Franc in the 1998 Haut Bailly offers a tale of endurance and evolution. At this stage in its life cycle, the wine presents a deep garnet hue with an alluring bouquet that evokes dark berries, tobacco leaf, and the subtlest hint of truffle — a testament to its sophisticated ageing process.


A Wine That Speaks Directly to The Sophisticated Investor

On the palate, this finely sculpted 1998 Haut Bailly unveils layers of complexity: cassis and ripe plum flavors intermingle with earthy undertones and impeccably integrated tannins. The finish is long and resonant, echoing the quality that serious collectors discerningly seek. Its structure and composure exemplify what makes for an astute investment; it is a wine primed for continued maturation but with an open-handed generosity for those who choose to commune with it presently.

For fine wine investors, aiming to diversify their portfolio with quintessential Bordeaux vintages, the 1998 Haut Bailly is an asset worth contemplation. The juxtaposition of unyielding quality against shifting climates signifies not just adaptability but preeminence within Pessac-Leognan — an eloquent witness to history's passage that endures eloquently in bottle form.

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Scores and tasting notes


Tasted at Berry Brother & Rudd's vertical. The 1998 Haut-Bailly has a lovely, very pure, almost Burgundy-like bouquet with seamlessly integrated oak. Lots of wild strawberries abound with hints of smoke and truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded texture that belie some quite firm tannins that seem to be mellowing slower than I first thought. There are touches of blackberry, bay leaf and a fine grainy texture on the finish that shows just a touch of alcohol. Drink now-2018. Tasted October 2011.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2013


Dark ruby-colored with a sweet nose of berry fruit, smoke, black cherries, and spice box, this medium-bodied wine is charming, restrained, rich, and long. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2016.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #134 Apr 2001

Vintage performance