Vintage 1998: Merlots blessed by the gods

Vintage 1998 : Merlots Blesses by the Gods 

1998 was a strange year. We had a wet spring followed by hot, dry weather in May. Mid-flowering occurred on June 4th, ten days ahead of normal. Véraison, consistent with flowering, was quick and uniform, which enabled us to calculate the beginning of the harvest for the 23rd of September. But the most important factor was the very hot summer weather with no rain throughout all of 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 care given to the vines through the year and the successful way they were treated undoubtedly contributed to their inexplicably healthy condition. The Merlots looks as though it may be the finest Château Haut-Bailly has ever produced and wines from our parcel known as « Vieilles Vignes » have shown exceptional colour and richness in tannin.

Château Haut-Bailly blend: 59% Cabernet Sauvignon – 41% Merlot
La Parde Haut-Bailly blend: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon – 40% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Franc