1998 Margaux, Margaux
Wine & Spirits
(no note given)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium ruby. Cool, floral aromas of red berries, violet, cocoa powder, graphite and spicy oak, along with a whiff of smoked meat. Juicy, sharply delineated and austere; a classic, adamantly dry claret with superb intensity and grip. This is beginning to close up, unlike the '99. But really expands on the very long, perfumed finish. Tannins are dusty but even.
Complex aromas of crushed blackberries and toasted oak, with hints of tar. Full-bodied, with big, chewy tannins and hints of vanilla bean and coffee underneath. A bit chewy still, and needs a couple more years to resolve the angular tannins. (2009)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
Sweet nose that seemed slightly oaky at first – certainly very different from the rest and perhaps not quite as perfumed and silky as one would like. Although it grew in the glass to be more stereotypically Margaux – certainly no lack of concentration and fruit… Lots of life and energy and then attractive sweetness all within a pretty firm framework. Attractive balance. Still very dense – seems at about the right point of evolution for a 10 year-old first growth. Still quite a bit of tannin but the fruit is maturing nicely. Very fresh – may be too much so? (18.5-/20 points)
We tasted this wine on two separate occasions, and both times we agreed that Margaux made the best wine in the appellation and one of the Medoc's finest wines overall. It has tons of power, but with time it appears this wine should recapture some of the finesse that you'd hope for and expect. Rich, plummy character with hints of spice and tons of concentration.