Vinous – 89
Dark red. Aromatic, deep nose combines plum, hot rocks and smoked meat, plus a floral topnote. Quite silky for ’98, with lovely vinosity and balance. The tannins are firm but ripe.
Robert Parker – 89
My rating may be too conservative, as the 1998 is showing as well as any La Tour-Haut-Brion from the nineties. A dense ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of black currants intermixed with tobacco, cedar, and spice box. The wine is beautifully pure, rich, medium-bodied, with sweet tannin and well-integrated acidity as well as wood. It should drink well after several years of aging, and last for 15-18 years.
Anticipated maturity: 2001-2018
JancisRobinson.com – 17
Dark crimson and still quite youthful-looking. Although this is 57% Merlot it seems more dominated by Cabernet. Again, slightly dusty. And the alcohol is a little obvious. Not as elegant and racy as some other 1998 Pessac-Léognans. Pretty dry and tough tannins and a bit rustic but very youthful. Still needs lots of time. Closing up? A little awkward at present but pretty pure. This wine in particular didn’t change much in the glass. It had been the quality of another bottle of 1998 that had inspired this tasting according to Wilkie.
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020