By Chateau Palmer
1998 Palmer from Chateau Palmer, Margaux, Bordeaux
The 1998 vintage of the Palmer from Chateau Palmer, a beacon amongst Margaux wines, exemplifies the splendid anomaly that the year presented. Not often do we encounter such finesse and structure embraced together with an almost paradoxical immediacy of charm.
A Vintage Defying Expectations
Despite the challenging climatic whims of 1998, which imposed upon Bordeaux's vignerons a tapestry of travail, the harvest at Chateau Palmer serendipitously gave birth to grapes brimming with the potential that was expertly navigated by the estate's vinicultural sages. The resulting wine is a lexicon of depth and elegance unique to this vintage.
Investment in Liquid Elegance
Approaching its quarter-century of maturation, the 1998 Palmer encompasses all elements sought by discerning collectors and investors: rarity, pedigree and a narrative woven into each bottle. This is a wine that commands attention not only for its delightful drinking spectrum but also as a formidable asset within the diversified portfolio of any fine wine investment connoisseur.
The sensory journey begins with an olfactory ballet; truffles entwine with ripe black fruits in a dance nuanced by hints of violets and an unmistakable Margaux perfume. On the palate, the wine articulates its complexity with aplomb – layers of dark berries cascade into undertones of tobacco and subtle oak, framed by tannins that coalesce both power and grace, leading to an elongating finish that asserts this Palmer's illustrious legacy.
In conclusion, the 1998 vintage stands as testament to the resilience and ingenuity of Chateau Palmer's winemaking. The finesse encapsulated in this vintage through adversity nods subtly to the investor-minded palette. A singular acquisition such as this not only enriches collections but serves as a beacon through which one can navigate the broader narrative embedded in Margaux’s heritage. As time weaves its narrative through these cellared treasures, the 1998 Palmer persists as one of distinctive investment allure, a resplendent star in the firmament of fine wines.
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Scores and tasting notes
A classic Margaux, the 1998 Palmer has put on weight and fleshed out during its elevage in barrel. It displays a dense purple color as well as a sumptuous bouquet of black fruits, licorice, melted asphalt, pain grille, and a touch of acacia flowers. Full-bodied, with brilliant definition, this blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a dollop of Petit Verdot, will age well for 20-30 years. It is one of the Medoc's, as well as the Margaux appellation's finest wines of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2028.
Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 22 April 2001
A deep garnet core. The nose is tight and showing just a hint of greenness, simpler relative to the '99. Blackberry, cassis sandalwood and iodine all there but lacking a little lift at present. The medium-bodied palate still has some unresolved tannins at first, but give this time because it mellow and softens beautifully with 15-20 minutes aeration and ends up more expressive than the '99. Very well-defined and poised towards the finish with just a hint of pain grille inflecting the aftertaste. Drink now-2020. Tasted March 2008.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2009