Haut Brion 1998

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPessac-Leognan
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Tasting Notes

This is a prodigious Haut-Brion. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple colour 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, multitiered, stunningly pure, symmetrical style with wonderful sweetness, ripe tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly 45 seconds. It tastes like liquid nobility. There is really no other way of describing it. It is unquestionably the finest Haut-Brion since the fabulous1989 and 1990, and the titanic 2000. However, patience is warranted as it is not as flashy and forwardas those two vintages. Anticipated maturity 2008-2035.

Score: 96+Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003

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.

Score: 96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (134), April 2001

The 1998 continues to emulate the style of recent prodigious Haut-Brions. With all due respect to the glorious 1995, the 1998 appears to be the finest wine produced since Haut-Brion's prodigious 1989 and 1990. It reveals more aromatic and flavor dimensions than it did last year. The dense ruby/purple color is followed by classic, developing aromas of minerals, lead pencil, earth, and black cherries/currants. On the palate, additional dimensions and nuances unfold. Tannic and powerful, but with sweet fruit, ripe tannin, and great length and richness, this profound, firmly-structured Haut-Brion will require 4-6 years of bottle age; it should drink well for three decades.

Score: 94/97Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (128), April 2000

Jean Delmas is thrilled with what he achieved at Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion in 1998. It is one of the great successes of the vintage. Moreover, it is the paradigm for elegance allied to power. The color is an opaque purple. The nose offers up sweet black fruits intermixed with roasted herbs, pain grille, and minerals. There is a sensational, plush texture, yet the wine comes across as medium-bodied, with multiple levels of flavor, as well as gorgeous ripeness and purity. It possesses fine density, but there is no sense of heaviness or imbalance. It is a brilliant classic. Lovers of this estate's distinctive, highly individualized, complex wines should not miss it. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025.

Score: 94/96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999

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.

Score: 98Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2008

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.

Score: 99Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2018

subtler and slightly more complex, with a cedar, berry, chocolate and light tobacco bouquet and a caressing palate with sweet, ripe fruit, silky tannins and a long finish. It is muscular but toned and slender compared to La Mission’s more solid, brute strength. 98 points.

 James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, November 2006

Score: 98James Suckling, WineSpectator.com

An incredibly rich and complex Haut Brion which could potentially equal the legendary 1989. Aromas of crushed berries, tobacco, lead, cinnamon, spice and wet earth follow through to a gorgeously caressing palate with big, velvety tannins and a long, delicious aftertaste. A triumph for the vintage.

Score: 95/100James Suckling, Wine Spectator

Bright crimson. Very sweet and opulent on the nose – broad and round. Truly magnificent bouquet already although the palate is a bit austere. Tannins quite pronounced and dry fruit. Difficult to mark this wine – just smell it for the moment! Neat, well balanced on the finish. Just needs a little time for those tannins to soften…Drink 2011-24

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2008

Bit light in colour – mid red. Very correct and zesty and zippy. Lots tucked in there… Great for the long term.

Score: 18+Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2006

The classic Graves wine. An outstanding success in '98. The secret of this wine's success is that the harvest began on September 15th and was completed by the end of the month when many Medocs were only just starting to pick their Cabernets - in the rain.

Score: 18.5Farr Vintners, June 1999

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.