x
  • Country ranking ?

    4 538
  • Producer ranking ?

    17
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    roast lamb served medium-rare

The Story

There are few places where terroir truly affects production but Château Haut-Bailly is definitely one of those. Château Haut-Bailly has a distinctive style that harmoniously combines classicism with modernity, elegance, finesse and softness with structure. The silky smoothness of the tannins echoes the elegant yet complex aromas.


Château Haut-Bailly has great ageing potential and consistently wins praise from experts who agree that it offers complex pleasure and a richness that is neither aggressive nor ostentatious. These are natural qualities which Haut-Bailly is determined to keep.
Each year the team at Château Haut-Bailly works hard at developing the quality of the wines without interfering with nature. Since 1998, thanks to even more stringent selection controls, the wine has gained a greater depth and precision.

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Vintage 1998

1998 was a strange year. We had a wet spring followed by hot, dry weather in May. Mid-flowering occurred on the 4th of June, ten days ahead of normal. Véraison, consistent with flowering, was quick and uniform, which enabled us to calculate the beginning of the harvest, 23 September. But the most important factor that summer was the very hot weather with no rain at all throughout July and August. Without the slightest drop of water, even the grass stopped growing. September started off in the same way, then once again the skies opened and the rain poured down!

For the very first time we had a sorting table set up in a new and unusual position: the stemmer was uncoupled from the crusher so that the grapes could be sorted between the two machines. An eager team of workers picked off all the bits of stems and stalks which managed to get through the stemmer.

The way the vines were looked after right through the year and the successful way they were treated undoubtedly contributed to their inexplicably healthy condition. The merlot looks as though it may be the finest Merlot Château Haut-Bailly has ever produced and wines from the parcel known as « Vieilles Vignes » have shown exceptional colour and richness in tannin. In other words, this vintage should be excellent. 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

As in 1989 and 1990, very hot weather was experienced in the summer, with no rain at all in July and August. But in September, with the harvest imminent, the skies opened. At Haut-Bailly, a sorting table was set up between the destemmer and the crusher so that the grapes could be sorted between the two machines. Harvesting took place from 23 September to 13 October. The yield was 48hl/ha. This vintage contained 43% Merlot, which was “maybe the finest Merlot Haut-Bailly has ever produced. Wines from the vieilles vignes parcel showed exceptional colour and tannin richness,” said Véronique.

Purple, turning to garnet at the rim. Very closed, but the nose is certainly different than the vintages above. A hint of tobacco. Medium weight again. Savoury, Merlot flavours on the finish. Juicy, refreshing acidity again – seemingly a hallmark of Haut-Bailly. Some tannin still apparent, but not hard or spiky. Just about drinkable now but not yet fully unfurled. Good length. A great year for Merlot in Bordeaux – even in Graves. A very good Haut-Bailly. Age to 2020? 93

  • 93p

Information

Origin

Léognan, Pessac Leognan

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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93p
 Stuart George, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  Château Haut-Bailly 1998  ( Château Haut-Bailly )

As in 1989 and 1990, very hot weather was experienced in the summer, with no rain at all in July and August. But in September, with the harvest imminent, the skies opened. At Haut-Bailly, a sorting table was set up between the destemmer and the crusher so that the grapes could be sorted between the two machines. Harvesting took place from 23 September to 13 October. The yield was 48hl/ha. This vintage contained 43% Merlot, which was “maybe the finest Merlot Haut-Bailly has ever produced. Wines from the vieilles vignes parcel showed exceptional colour and tannin richness,” said Véronique.

Purple, turning to garnet at the rim. Very closed, but the nose is certainly different than the vintages above. A hint of tobacco. Medium weight again. Savoury, Merlot flavours on the finish. Juicy, refreshing acidity again – seemingly a hallmark of Haut-Bailly. Some tannin still apparent, but not hard or spiky. Just about drinkable now but not yet fully unfurled. Good length. A great year for Merlot in Bordeaux – even in Graves. A very good Haut-Bailly. Age to 2020? 93

6m 4d ago

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