We were concerned that the rainy harvest might dash our high hopes founded with the early blossoming, dry spring and scorching August. That turned out not to be the case. There was no rainfall until the harvest had already begun. The grapes were thus moistened but not penetrated, so maybe we can consider that divine intervention.
Once the first tanks had been worked, analyzed, and tasted, weary expressions changed to satisfied smiles. This vintage reflects the strength of our soil, with its deep colour and woody, fruity, and spicy palate. The "98" may be preserved for a very long time, and is rich and full with a silky and long finish.
"A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, this wine represents only 34% of Lafite's total harvest. In a less than perfect Medoc vintage, it has been spectacular since birth, putting on more weight and flesh over the last year. This opaque purple-colored 1998 is close to perfection. The spectacular nose of lead pencil, smoky, mineral, and black currant fruit soars majestically from the glass. The wine is elegant yet profoundly rich, revealing the essence of Lafite's character. The tannin is sweet, and the wine is spectacularly layered yet never heavy. The finish is sweet, super-rich, yet impeccably balanced and long (50+ seconds). Anticipated maturity: 2007-2035."
The Wine Advocate
"Amazing aromas of crushed blackberries, toasted oak and currant, spices. Really a great nose. Full-bodied, with round and velvety tannins and a long, long finish. It lasts for minutes on the palate. Superb. Best wine of the Médoc, without a doubt."
"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.
International Wine Cellar