In the glass this wine is a deep, very dark color. On the nose it is spicy with small soft fruit and delicate woody aromas. A huge, tannic wine on the palate. Aromas of blackcurrant buds and vanilla. A harmonious balance between an imperceptible acidity and strongly present tannins mellowed by prolonged refining in the wood.
"Bright ruby-red. Reticent but complex nose hints at black raspberry, gunflint, cracked pepper, minerals and leather. Hugely rich and deep, with terrific texture and flavor intensity and gripping Hermitage structure. Finishes with a distinct note of peppery austerity. Extremely young, and likely to be very long-lived.
International Wine Cellar
"The powerful, backward 1998 Hermitage was produced from wine purchased from such vineyards as Les Bessards, Les Baumes, Meal, and Dionnieres. It is powerful, tannic, slightly austere, but long in the mouth with copious quantities of cassis fruit. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020."
The Wine Advocate