1998 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac

SKU #995052 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Aromas of tobacco smoke, cedar, cherries, and black currants emerge from the moderately intense, complex bouquet. This wine has evolved nicely, revealing less austerity than it did last year in its medium-weight, delicate personality. Drink it over the next 15-16 years.  (4/ 2001)

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.  (6/ 2001)

K&L Notes

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. Those of us who have been extremely fond of recent vintages of Pichon-Lalande will be happy to learn that the recent acquisition of Chateau Bernadotte means that Pichon-Lalande now has even more outstanding Pauillac vines to work with. Don't bet against this legendary producer.

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Price: $99.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

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Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.