Chateau Lafite Rothschild   Lafite Rothschild

1998 Lafite Rothschild

By Chateau Lafite Rothschild

1998 Lafite Rothschild from Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The 1998 Lafite Rothschild stands as a beacon within the firmament of remarkable vintages from Château Lafite Rothschild. This esteemed wine emerges from the fabled soils of Pauillac, wherein the confluence of climate and terroir coalesce to craft something genuinely extraordinary, harnessing the very essence of its environment.


Legacy and Pedigree: The Foundations for Fine Wine Investment

The latter part of the 1990s saw a series of pronounced vicissitudes in terms of climatic conditions across Bordeaux. Yet the adaptive genius of Château Lafite Rothschild ensured that, even when facing the vicissitudes of nature, the resulting vintage would be profound. It is for reasons such as this that the very name 'Lafite' has become emblematic of enduring investment-grade luxury.


A Vintage Singularity

The 1998 vintage is indeed distinctive amongst its brethren, a testament to the deft handling and consummate skill applied by the vintners at Château Lafite Rothschild. Marked by a rather challenging growing season with a particularly warm and dry August followed by a wet September, it required acute attention and swift actions to harvest the fruit at its peak potential.

Bearing witness to its creation, the 1998 Lafite Rothschild captures an ambrosial balance between concentrated dark fruits - with blackcurrant and cassis notes soaring effortlessly above an underlay of subtle earthiness and well-integrated oak. Structured tannins hint at its longevity, even as they begin to mellow with grace, providing a robust yet silken framework for ageing potential.

As one contemplates investment in fine wines, it is exemplars like the 1998 vintage that epitomise judicious selection. As it evolves, each taste reveals layered complexity; one understands why certain vintages become touchstones for collectors and connoisseurs alike.

In summing up this wine, one sees both provenance and prescience within every glass. The 1998 Lafite Rothschild from Château Lafite Rothschild heralds not just a storied past but also promises a lustrous future. It holds a cherished spot in any collection or portfolio, in both its physical splendour and in the enchanted narratives that each uncorked bottle invariably recounts.

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Scores and tasting notes


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.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #134 Apr 2001


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.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 31 May 2018


Tasted at Hermitage Wines’ seminar in Hong Kong. I must admit that this was a rather underwhelming bottle of one of the finest Lafites in recent years, principally because the fruit seems very subdued. Perhaps this is going through a dumb stage of adolescence: bolshie and introverted. I like the weight and persistency towards the finish, suggesting that bottles should not be approached into the real Lafite 1998 comes back in ten year’s time. Tasted November 2011.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2012

Vintage performance