1998 Chateau Margaux
Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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We came very close to making a great vintage. It was a question of a few showers at the beginning of the harvest... From the beginning, the wines, whether Merlot or Cabernet, had astonishing concentration, recalling the 1995 and 1996 vintages. At first, they tended to be a little firm and austere, but with barrel ageing they gained a lot of roundness and harmony. Today, Château Margaux 1998 displays aromas of great freshness, in which fruit, particularly red berry fruit, is to the fore, and in which lingering hints of vanilla and roasted coffee beans mingle slowly into the wine. The impression on the palate is of great power with fresh, firm but fat tannins, which give this wine a very classic dimension. 1998 is undeniably a long-ageing wine, which will only come out completely in fifteen years' time. However, it can be drunk now, out of curiosity, since it has nothing aggressive about it. (May 2006)
The 1998 Margaux's color is a dense ruby/purple. The wine is tannic and austere, but elegant, with notes of asphalt, blackberries, acacia flowers, and sweet, toasty oak. Subtle, rich, nicely-textured, and medium-bodied, it is built for the long haul. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.
Rated 91 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Rated 100 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Chateau Margaux, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, must be a strong contender for wine of the vintage. It offers everything you desire from this First Growth. It is blessed with breathtaking delineation and freshness on the nose, understated at first and then blossoming with mineral-infused black fruit, hints of blueberry, crushed stone and violet. The palate is perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, perfect acidity, a wine where everything seems to be in its right place. Blackberry, crushed stone at the front of the mouth, just a touch of spice towards the finish that shows supreme control. This is a Margaux that seems to light up the senses. It was outstanding in its youth...something that has not changed one bit over the intervening two decades. This may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s. Tasted July 2016. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2050