La Mission Haut Brion 1998


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Tasting Notes

A candidate for the wine of the vintage from this somewhat forgotten year, consumers should be seeking out wines from the Right Bank and Graves as 1998 was a great vintage in those appellations. La Mission's 1998 exhibits a healthy, opaque blue/purple color with no lightening at the edge. Thirty minutes of aeration brings forth a sensational bouquet of chocolate, cedar, truffles, graphite, blackberries, cassis and incense. La Mission's so-called scorched earth/charcoal/hot rocks characteristic has not yet appeared. Full-bodied with superb purity, a multilayered texture, sweet tannin, good acidity and a fabulously long finish, this great, young La Mission-Haut-Brion's finest days are yet to come. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.

Score: 98Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (202), August 2012

Score: 94Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003

Score: 93+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (134), April 2001

A stupendous effort, the 1998 La Mission-Haut-Brion has put on considerable weight. The high tannin level has become fully integrated with the rich, concentrated structure and style of this effort. This dense opaque purple-coloured, powerful, tannic, muscular La Mission demands 7-8 years of cellaring. The wine exhibits plenty of minieral, spice box, and black fruit characteristics in its earthy, classic, Graves-like bouquet, admirable length, an intense mid-palate, and a powerful, concentrated finish. This is the finest La Mission since 1989 and 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2025.

Score: 91/93+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (128), April 2000

Score: 91/94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999

A limpid garnet core with ruby rim. The nose here is gregarious, ebullient, almost exotic in style with ripe blackberries, black cherries and a hint of black olives. This a glorious bouquet that soars from the glass but after five minutes it has clammed up a little and needs rigorous swirling to revivify. The palate is full-bodied with firm, ripe tannins. It still has the hubris and exoticism that it displayed in its youth but it is more tempered with a decade ageing. Notes of black cherries, bilberry and a touch of black olives towards the finish. Vibrant and intoxicating. Needs more time though. Drink 2012-2040+. Tasted May 2008.

Score: 97Neal Martin,, July 2008

1998 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan: This is really classic in style with incredible depth and power. Muscular and amazing, it is full-bodied yet tight and agile. So complex. Shows iodine, oyster, stone and mint aromas and flavors. It's rich and flavorful and at the same time fresh and racy. A modern classic. Drink or hold. Decant this one or two hours in advance. 99 points.

Delmas said he made the 1998 La Mission wine with his father, Jean, who was a legend for three decades in Bordeaux. "We made two truly great wines together, 1998 and 2000," said Jean Philippe. "I think 1998 is our best ever together."

Score: 99James Suckling,, January 2016

superior to the legendary 2000..a bold wine with intense hot stone, berry and raspberry aromas that follow through to the palate with firm yet velvety tannins and a long finish. 96 points (non-blind tasting)

Score: 96James Suckling,, November 2006

Score: 16Jancis Robinson MW,, March 2006

The 1998 La Mission Haut-Brion is deep garnet-brick colored with a pretty perfume of potpourri, spice box, menthol, sandalwood, tobacco and new leather. The palate is medium-bodied and elegant with tons of fragrant layers, finishing with loads of mineral and tons of energy. Drink up to 2030.

Score: 97Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2018

A deep and opaque red.

Wonderfully intense and exotic nose with vanilla and all-spice. A complexity and opulence which is immediately reminiscent of great vintages such as the 1982 and 1989 but still youthful and 'tight'. Concentrated essence of blackcurrant and crème de cassis with smoky, spicy, roasted character.

Immediately sweet, rich, fat, generous and voluptuous on the palate. Plenty of warmth and glycerol but what impresses most are the multi-layers of complex flavours and the magnificent overall balance. This wine perfectly combines its lush, sexy, exotic opulence with classic, mineral quintessential Graves character. An example of 1998 at its very best. Soft with a beautiful, enduring, sweet finish. A great La Mission, exceedingly tempting already but set to get better and better yet.

 Farr Vintners, June 1999

It is worth pointing out that La Mission always starts off about 30% cheaper than Haut Brion but, when mature, usually ends up at the same price, or more. In this vintage they are both magnificent. "Massive, yet balanced, with lots of mineral, mint, wet earth, berry and cherry character. Full-bodied, with loads of round, velvety tannins." WS.
(FV 17.5) (WS 95-100)

 Farr 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.