Robert Parker 96
“A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, the 1998 Lafite Rothschild is deep garnet with a hint of brick and gorgeous notions of sandalwood, crème de cassis, smoked meats, black pepper and garrigue with touches of chargrill, dried herbs and mincemeat pie. Medium-bodied, soft and plush on the palate, it has tons of mouth-filling savory and plum preserves flavors and a very long, savory finish. Delicious now, it should keep for 15-20 more years.”
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038
The bluest of the three Pauillac firsts. The lightest of the three on the nose. You have to struggle a bit to find the bouquet at first but it really opened out in the glass. Pretty solid yet it soars away too. Rich and racy. Manages to be a bit of a racehorse. Very sinewy and glossy and polished. Just a hint of greenness. Still chewy on the finish. Very racy and elegant.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025
Saturated bright ruby. Noble aromas of blackcurrant, cedar, lead pencil, licorice and nutty oak. Very intensely flavored and penetrating, with great class and grip. Impressively concentrated and juicy, but still rather imploded in the middle palate. This showed terrific subtle sweetness as it opened in the glass. Offers quintessential Lafite elegance as well as the strong backbone to support long aging. The finish features firm but ripe tannins and uncanny persistence of flavor. A candidate for the Medoc wine of the vintage.