1998 Chateau Rauzan-Segla
By Chateau Rauzan-Segla
1998 Chateau Rauzan-Segla from Chateau Rauzan-Segla, Margaux, Bordeaux
The 1998 vintage of the fabled Margaux region stands as a testament to the elegance and complexity that Chateau Rauzan-Segla is renowned for. This particular year unfurled with a vine-grower's dream of conditions; an auspicious spring followed by a summer that alternated between warming sun and replenishing rain, culminating in an impeccably timed harvest. As a wine critic with four decades of experience, I have observed the agile way in which this vintage has evolved—a journey marked by both grace and vigour.
An Exemplar of Stability in a Year of Contrasts
The endowment of the 1998 vintage with both structure and charm is an enduring hallmark of Chateau Rauzan-Segla's craftsmanship. While other Bordeaux estates grappled with climatic idiosyncrasies this season, 1998 Chateau Rauzan-Segla from Chateau Rauzan-Segla convincingly demonstrated resilience. The culmination of the meticulous travail under the estate's watchful eyes yielded a wine that embraces the quintessence of Margaux—balance and poise.
Embarking on the Sensory Expedition
On the nose, one cannot help but be enthralled by the labyrinthine array of dark berries, a hint of fresh tobacco leaf, and a whisper of truffled earthiness—an olfactory ballet choreographed to near perfection. The palate follows suit with sumptuous layers; blackcurrants pirouette around a core of silky tannins while tertiary notes subtly speak to a background rosewood and cassis. This is an intricately woven tapestry of flavours testifying to the exceptional cellar potential bestowed upon it.
For the astute fine wine investor, the 1998 Chateau Rauzan-Segla represents an articulate proposition. Its steady ascent towards peak maturity marries investment wisdom with vinous pleasure—a duality rarely encountered but fervently sought-after.
An Inimitable Offering for the Connoisseur's Portfolio
In summation, the 1998 vintage from Chateau Rauzan-Segla encapsulates an era for Bordeaux that was as challenging as it was rewarding. Given its distinguished pedigree and compositional brilliance, this bottle finds itself comfortably nestled amongst one's discerning selection. For those aligned with tradition yet appreciative of what weather and time can bestow upon a great wine, embracing this addition promises both sensory enrichment and investment sagacity.
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Scores and tasting notes
The 1998 Rauzan-Ségla is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. Medium to deep garnet-brick colored, it has a lovely nose of baked plums, dried cranberries, mulberries and licorice with nuances of leather, baking spices and dusty soil. The medium-bodied palate still maintains a surprising amount of fruit with fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with great length. While this is not a particularly complex Rauzan-Ségla, it is an outstanding example. It's unlikely to improve much, yet it is maturing slowly and should offer collectors a lot of joy over the next 15 years+.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 9 April 2020