1998 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Dark color, with decadent aromas of truffles, meat, ripe berries and tobacco. Turns to sweet, crushed berries. Full-bodied, with very polished tannins and a berry and mineral aftertaste. The serious tannin structure is still hiding behind the fruit of the wine. Tightly wound and beautiful. Solid as a rock. A classic wine. (Web, 2009)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good medium ruby. Aristocratic, highly complex nose hints at plum, roast coffee, leather, grilled nuts, tobacco and earth. A bit reticent today but already offers an uncanny amalgamation of density and vinosity. A very suave, subtle wine that finishes with creamy, sweet tannins and terrific grip and length. Was there a more consistently outstanding first growth through the decade of the '90s?
The 1998 vintage is a personal favorite of mine for modern sleeper vintages in Bordeaux, which means that many wine lovers still overlook this year. I have always thought in my mind that it was something like the heralded but slightly forgotten 1950 vintage. However, I obviously did not taste the 1950s when they were young! I was lucky enough to taste 1998 Chateau Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion recently side-by-side and I was slightly surprised how they opened and ready to drink they were. They were so wonderful in the glass now... The Haut-Brion showed super decadent character with foie gras, plums and tobacco. It was full body, round and beautifully textured. It lasted for minutes after tasting.
Deep crimson still. Although there is trademark Haut Brion underneath there is already beguiling tertiary perfume on top. There’s a richness underneath. Warm and spicy and very charming. Acidity is noticeable. A lovely bouquet already.
Chateau Haut Brion is one of the five First Growth wines of Bordeaux, and the only one from Graves. Located on two hillocks gravel over clay and sand in Pessac for a classic Graves terroir. It consists of 51 hectares of mostly red varietals (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). It is the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux and was even served to Charles II! The estate is now owned and lovingly managed by the Dillon family, the royal family of Luxembourg.