A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, the 1998 Lafite Rothschild is deep garnet with a hint of brick and gorgeous notions of sandalwood, crème de cassis, smoked meats, black pepper and garrigue with touches of chargrill, dried herbs and mincemeat pie. Medium-bodied, soft and plush on the palate, it has tons of mouth-filling savory and plum preserves flavors and a very long, savory finish. Delicious now, it should keep for 15-20 more years. (LPB)
Amazing aromas of crushed blackberries, toasted oak and currant, spices. Really a great nose. Full-bodied, with round and velvety tannins and a long, long finish. It lasts for minutes on the palate. Superb. Best wine of the Médoc, without a doubt. (JS, Web-2009)
Easy vintage until September, when conditions in the Médoc particularly became humid, which meant accelerating the harvest (it was one of those years when Lafite benefitted enormously from its ability to ramp up a bigger-than-expected team of pickers). Salin still calls this a lunch wine, because of its supple freshness, its balance that would work so perfectly with food.The vintage was a showcase for Bordeaux on the Right Bank, where it was considered great from the start. The Medoc and Graves were less well received at the time, but are ripe for rediscovering now. This still has a lovely deep ruby red colour, and on both the nose and palate you are getting to secondary aromas, a walk in the forest, mushrooms, cedars, heather, game -- these are flavours you just don’t get in young wines, and amply reward the patience of holding bottles back. The surprise, and the Lafite signature, comes in its vibrancy, in its huge persistency and in the lift on the finish. (JA)
Saturated bright ruby. Noble aromas of blackcurrant, cedar, lead pencil, licorice and nutty oak. Very intensely flavored and penetrating, with great class and grip. Impressively concentrated and juicy, but still rather imploded in the middle palate. This showed terrific subtle sweetness as it opened in the glass. Offers quintessential Lafite elegance as well as the strong backbone to support long aging. The finish features firm but ripe tannins and uncanny persistence of flavor. A candidate for the Medoc wine of the vintage. 94+ Points (ST)
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