1998 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Wine & Spirits
(no tasting note given)
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, no Petit Verdot. First wine showing some age at the rim, just a little pinky brick around the garnet. Intensely cedary nose. Leafy verging on green and a note of spring blossom, herbal. Dry, tight and somewhere between taut and elegant. Chalky tannins, fresh and moreish, lacks the richness of earlier vintages tasted but quite refined. Cassis leaf on the palate, classic cigar box. (JH)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Quite a deep garnet core with crimson rim (wider than the 2000.) The nose is pleasant if lacking a little vigour: blackberry, sous-bois, a touch of cigar box and cedar, although it seems a little hollow in the middle, as if a major aroma has gone missing. The palate is medium-bodied, nicely balanced, quite elegant although lacking real fruit concentration and depth. Quite sharp, almost citrus acidity with strong tobacco flavours coming through on the mid-palate, leading to a slightly austere finish. It has a classic, traditional charm, although it is a medium-term Pichon rather than long, plus it lacks a little chutzpah. Drink now-2018. Tasted December 2008. (NM)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Moderately saturated medium red. Slightly shallow aromas of currant, chocolate, leather and smoky oak. Then fruity, suave and gentle, with subtly sweet flavors of cassis, licorice and lead pencil. Finishes with sneaky length and rather silky tannins for the vintage.
This is a more elegant-styled wine, a bit atypical for the '98 vintage. This wine has more red fruit aromas of raspberry and red licorice. Very ripe and rather soft, round tannins. Quite approachable for the vintage. Lacking a bit of concentration, but very well-balanced. Should be very good in near future. Pichon-Lalande was especially proud of the quality of the Merlot fruit in 1998. That Merlot makes up 30% of the blend, along with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc.