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. (LPB)
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. (JS, Web Only-2009)
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.
The 1998 Haut Brion has long been a favourite vintage of mine and consumed with pleasure several times. Now at 20-years of age I feel it is one step ahead of the 1998 La Mission: there is great fruit intensity with almost precocious blackberry, raspberry coulis, pastilles, tobacco and hints of olive. It has exquisite delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fuller in the mouth than the La Mission: deeper fruit (blackberry, mulberry and a touch of strawberry) intermingling with sage, cedar and a touch of hung game. It is not quite as precocious or as glossy on the finish as I remember previous bottles, but it is certainly turning into one of the finest wines of this vintage. Tasted at the château. (NM)
Sumptuous wine made from 60% Merlot served at the château. Mellow, suave, long and polished. Glorious bottle. Great balance. Saw me nicely on to the Bordeaux-Carcassonne train that afternoon. (JR) 19/20
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