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TN: 1998 Bordeaux

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Bill Spohn

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TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Bill Spohn » Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:37 pm

I tend not to buy in vintages that I don't think will last long term, but occasionally grab a few bottles in off vintages. Not sure that I would condemn 1998 as being 'off' but they had a very hot summer and then a lot of rain and that limited the amount of really good wine to white and some right bank wines, so \i pretty much passed.

I should add that I did not go on others reports - we had a Bordeaux shipper come with bottle samples of wine still in barrel every year so we could assess their future (not too hard to do with reds but the whites are still just fruit juice - very difficult to figure out where they will be going).

I bought a couple of red Bordeaux from this vintage and then (typically) stuck them in the cellar and forgot about them. I came across them when looking for something else and figured I might have ignored them for too long so opened them over a couple of nights.

1998 Château Tour Saint-Fort - this St Estephe was actually in very decent shape, showing some lightening at the edges and a nose of cedar (cigar box) and very decent fruit levels with fine acidity and a medium weight. It had a medium length and was still in good form. It developed some nice cassis fruit notes when it opened up. A very decent wine at what was the a bargain price.

1998 Château Berliquet - This St. Emilion was of similar price and standing, showing good fruit levels and opening to reveal some sweet fruit, decent concentration and medium length.

I keep a cool cellar (13 C.) so they had lasted well, and neither was significantly over the hill - the result might well have been much different from a warmer cellar.

I will now apply myself to going back through older vintages of Bordeaux to try and escape regret from not drinking soon enough (also found one bottle of 1964 right bank I have to get to fairly soon!)
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Dale Williams

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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Dale Williams » Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:35 pm

I certainly wouldn't call 98 Right Bank an off vintage, one of strongest of seond half of century IMHO!
And pretty strong in Graves
Unfortunately auction markets agree, so unlikely to add more bottles to my meager stash.
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Bill Spohn » Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:50 pm

As I said, the vintage seems to have been best in the Right Bank ad whites from both areas. I haven't tasted any that I would were really substandard from the left bank except those barrel samples which were so-so.
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Jenise » Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:08 pm

I bought a lot of '98 which I got for ridiculous prices when a Southern California distributor, in the Freedom Fries frenzy following 9/11, dumped all he had. Truckloads. So I got Grand Puy Lacosse for like $15/bottle, etc. I'm not as experienced or demanding as you are when it comes to Bordeaux, but most of these bottles were terrific when you figure in price. I bought hundreds of bottles. Anyway, the Graves were the standouts, but the best of all, regardless of location? Mouton and LMHB.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Bill Spohn » Tue Jun 28, 2022 7:02 pm

Sounds like you did very well by the vintage. Have you been getting into them?
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jun 28, 2022 9:26 pm

Wow, that’s about as strange an assessment of 1998 Bordeaux as I have seen. Right bank is often excellent, and left bank, while not outstanding, is definitely in the classic Bordeaux vintage style. I really like the vintage, pretty much across the board.
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:03 am

I said it was really good for whites and Right bank, but less so in the Medoc - do you disagree with that? Perhaps I overstated the issues with the left bank wines?
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:22 am

I think your original post is much less complementary, except for the whites (which I routinely avoid given my issues with Sauvignon Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc blends).

Either way, I guess it doesn't really matter.
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Re: TN: 1998 Bordeaux

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:26 am

David M. Bueker wrote:I think your original post is much less complementary, except for the whites (which I routinely avoid given my issues with Sauvignon Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc blends).
.


Ah, OK, I see what you mean although I hadn't meant to be that hard on it. Should have said something closer to this (which I looked up after your take on my initial wording).

Jancis:
the 1998 vintage, a vintage that was famously much more successful in St Emilion, Pomerol and Graves than in the Médoc where rain washed out the region’s late ripening Cabernet Sauvignon.

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