Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 1998 Bordeaux

The April Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Bordeaux from the 1998 vintage.  As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

1998 was an exceptional vintage for the Right Bank appellations of Pomerol and Saint Emilion. Rain during harvest impacted the Left Bank appellations and the vast majority of the wines are ready to drink.

The Contenders:

  • 1998 Cos d’Estournel – The 1998 vintage was not an outstanding one for most Cabernet-reds from Bordeaux, particularly from the Medoc. It rained in late September and affected the quality of the grapes. This said, most of the Right Bank, such as Pomerol and St-Emilion, made superlative wines since they harvest before the rains. In any case, the 1998 Cos was a delicious bottle showing a spicy and slightly herbal character on both the nose and palate with hints of currants and dried fruits. It was full and soft with velvety tannins. 90 points from James Suckling.
  • 1998 Ducru-Beaucaillou – A supremely elegant, dense purple-colored effort, the 1998 reveals aromas of cassis, black raspberries, minerals, and currants. Precise, well-delineated, and medium to full-bodied, with magnificent purity and understated elegance, this noble, restrained wine reveals a tannic finish, suggesting 4-5 more years of cellaring is warranted. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.  91 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 1998 Canon-La-Gaffelière – This saturated purple-colored 1998 offers sumptuous aromas of prunes, blueberries, overripe black cherries, chocolate, coffee, and spicy new oak. Full-bodied, opulent, and expressive, this flamboyant/ostentatious effort is crammed with glycerin and extract. The tannin is sweet in this accessible, multilayered 1998. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 1998 Bordeaux Should I Open?

  • 1998 Ducru-Beaucaillou (40%, 12 Votes)
  • 1998 Cos d'Estournel (33%, 10 Votes)
  • 1998 Canon-La-Gaffelière (27%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the May installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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