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: 96+ Robert 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: 94/97 Robert 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: 94/96 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999
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: 95/100 James Suckling, Wine Spectator
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: 98 James Suckling, WineSpectator.com
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: 17.5 Jancis 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