Next to the 1997, the 1998 Opus One is naturally a bit slender, but it, too, boasts striking balance. Savory herbs, mint, licorice and plums are woven together in a fabric of notable class. Still young and vibrant, the 1998 is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next decade. The focus, length and persistence are all super-impressive, especially within the context of a challenging vintage. The 1998 is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 1% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot. (AG)
Not an easy vintage, with rain through the growing season that extended the ripening period into late October. This doesn't have the grip and definition of some years, but there is a supple charm, with clear hedgerow and bramble notes, and a sweet caramel edge to the oak. Difficult vintage as it rained through the growing season, drops off at the end but has an appeal. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 36 days skin contact, Long slow ripening in this El Nino year. (JA)
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