1998 Haut Brion
By Chateau Haut Brion
1998 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux
The 1998 vintage at Chateau Haut Brion was a race against nature, a year where vigneron tenacity triumphed to produce a wine of profound elegance and structured complexity. It is this very alchemy between struggle and finesse that defines the 1998 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion, standing as a testament to the winemaker's art even in challenging conditions.
A Mighty Vintage Speaks
In Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux’s most venerable terroir intersects with climatic caprices to foster surprisingly diverse outcomes. The 1998 season brought us rains early in the season followed by a balmy summer, culminating in a harvest under clear skies. This sequence did much to concentrate flavours whilst retaining structural precision, earmarking this particular offering from Chateau Haut Brion as one with exceptional ageing potential and investment allure.
In the glass, the 1998 Haut Brion is a harmonic convergence of ripened fruit and earthy undertones. An initial savour reveals cassis, laced with the ephemerality of preserved plum and the subtle warmth of tobacco - a palette deepened further by whispers of truffle and woodland floor garnered through maturation.
On the palate, this claret unfurls with aristocratic poise; layers of fruit are seamlessly integrated with well-rounded tannins and an indelible minerality reflective of its distinguished origins. Indeed, this wine from Chateau Haut Brion displays all the gravitas expected from such an eminent estate, with promise to unfold for decades yet.
For discerning connoisseurs and astute investors alike, securing bottles of the 1998 Haut Brion presents an enticing proposition. As time marches on, this vintage seduces afresh with each passing year, epitomising both the resilience and the grace inherent in fine Bordeaux wines.
A Vintage Worthy of Commitment
The long-lived nature of this 1998 Bordeaux release combines impeccably with its steady ascension in desirability among fine wine aficionados. It epitomises investment-grade wines: those with pedigree and story alike. In essence, a vintage such as this 1998 Haut Brion from Chateau Haut Brion not only contributes depth and diversity to collections but also promises the potential for compelling returns as it gracefully matures within the cellar's sanctum.
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Scores and tasting notes
Still incredibly youthful and sporting a lot of fruit, the deep garnet-brick colored 1998 Haut-Brion sashays out of the glass with flamboyant red and black fruits, followed by a train of cassis, blueberry pie and chocolate box notions plus accents of iron ore, dried lavender and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully rich and decadently seductive in its generosity of fruit and velvety texture, offering seamless freshness and finishing with epic length and compelling minerality. Oh so delicious right now, with careful cellaring it should continue to excite through 2045 and beyond.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 31 May 2018
A deep garnet core with deep brick rim. The nose is just fantastic, just soars from the glass with brilliant delineation and freshness; black olives, blackberry leaf, blueberry and a touch of iodine. At this stage it has slightly more breeding than the La Mission, although that wine has more immediacy. The palate is awesome: full-bodied, more structure than La Mission, nigh on perfect balance and tension. There is a natural quality to this wine, a beguiling sense of harmony that will ensure that this will become the best Haut Brion since the 1989 (on par with the criminally overlooked 1990.) The finish has a gorgeous suppleness to it: notes of blackberry, cherry liqueur, black olives and a touch of oyster shell. Very long in length. Awesome. Tasted March 2008.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2008
As reported over the last two years, this is a prodigious Haut-Brion. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a tight, but incredibly promising nose of smoke, earth, minerals, lead pencil, black currants, cherries, and spice. This full-bodied wine unfolds slowly, but convincingly on the palate, revealing a rich, multi-tiered, stunningly pure, symmetrical style with wonderful sweetness, ripe tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly 45 seconds. It tastes like liquid nobility. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2035.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #134 Apr 2001