1998 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
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.
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. 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.