if $ was not an issue...1998 Latour
would you consider drinking a bottle now (and saving more for later), or do you think it is obscenely too soon?
Hey Corkd... not necessarily too young. It's not a heavily-fruited vintage and you won't get a whole lot more development in the bottle, IMO... so trying a bottle now, and cellaring one, that's a pretty sound strategy.
FWIW, when you have an average vintage, you can really set it off with a great meal. Try this wine with a nice prime rib, for example, and you're likely to enjoy it that much more.
I was some time ago at a Latour vertical, tried (among others) the 82, 98, 2000.
Both the 82 and 2000 were spectacular, I wouldn't mind opening either bottle right now or after Messiah Ben David's arrival.
However, the 1998 left me ( and the other tasters as well ) totally unimpressed.
Open the 98 or wait, it won't make much difference.
There are two ways to read your question:
1.) you can buy a quantity at a fair price and drink one now, holding the rest
2.) you own a quantity and wish to know if drinking a bottle now would be OK, holding the rest
If 1, then I'd look to buying a single bottle, drinking some of it with the seller, and taking the rest home for the wife and me. If I liked that taste, I'd likely buy the quantity, if the price was fair.
If 2, definitely yes. With a quantity of wine, one needs to monitor the progress of that wine. I'd gather a few winos and tell them what is about to happen. Open the bottle, and pour small tastes before doing anything else. Once poured, decant the rest. Play with those tastes, and monitor the wine in the glass. Ask for input from the winos. When you're done with part A, pour small tastes from the decanter and repeat. Repeat this scenario, until the decanter is empty. Get as much input, as you can, as you have more of this wine, and need to know how it's progressing. It will come down to YOUR palete, but the input from the winos might be helpful, or at least interesting. Make some notes, so you can decide when the next tasting should be. The ideal is to do a few tests, until you think a wine is "ready," then drink the bulk, leaving a few btls. to chart the wine's decline, finishing it all, before it falls off the chart.
Or, maybe there is sceanrio 3, and I missed the question completely.
My "simple answer" to your question would be Yes.
I agree with Bill Hunt, tho.. we don't know the dynamics behind your question!
Altho 1998 was not a stellar year in Bordeaux, my experience has been that there are always some stars even so. You may be holding onto one, but you won't know until you taste it. The "Big Boys" are generally good even in an off year. I'd give one a go now.