Noel Ermitano wrote:'98 wasn't great for the Haut Médoc (very generally speaking, of course), but nice and ripe for the right bank, and, I'ce found, pretty good for Graves. For whatever tangential conncetion it is worth, when I tasted through the 2009 Pauillac/St-Julien wines at the 2010 April tasting in Bdx, Haut-Batailley's was quite impressive.
As regards Haut-Bailly, it is one of my moderately-priced go-to Pessac-Léognans. I opened a magnum of their 1988 a few months ago and it was very nice. Notable typicity too.
I understand the generality of your statement and agree. I have/had a larger breadth of 98 than any other vintage of anything ever, however, because of an astonishing warehouse sale I attended where I bought good classed growths like Grand Puy Lacoste and Leoville Poyferre for $15 and $16 bucks and top tier wines like Conseillante, Mouton and LMHB for $40-60. It was shortly after 9/11, and the few Americans who weren't boycotting French wines were waiting for the 2000's, so a clever retailer bought a Bordeaux importer's entire inventory of 98s and 99s and staged a two-day sale in which he charged buyers a buck or two per bottle over his cost. It was literally a back-up-the-truck experience--I'd stack up as much wine as would fit in the trunk of my little Jag convertible, drive it home, unload, and go back. And I wasn't the only one--it was madness! Customers were grabbing stuff as it came off the truck and if you hesitated, someone else got it. I latched on to a salesman who knew more than I did and took anything he pointed at. The Haut Bailly has been one of my favorites, and the Haut Batailley the weakest although most of the right bank wines haven't held up as well as I'd have hoped. I need to cull the few righties that are left and put them in the drinking queue.