We came very close to making a great vintage. It was a question of a few showers at the beginning of the harvest... From the beginning, the wines, whether Merlot or Cabernet, had astonishing concentration, recalling the 1995 and 1996 vintages. At first, they tended to be a little firm and austere, but with barrel ageing they gained a lot of roundness and harmony. Today, Château Margaux 1998 displays aromas of great freshness, in which fruit, particularly red berry fruit, is to the fore, and in which lingering hints of vanilla and roasted coffee beans mingle slowly into the wine. The impression on the palate is of great power with fresh, firm but fat tannins, which give this wine a very classic dimension. 1998 is undeniably a long-ageing wine.
The dates for bud-break, flowering and colour change in the grapes correspond exactly to the averages. What distinguishes this growing season is the exceptional heat and drought during the month of August : the grapes acquired an excellent level of concentration early on. The heavy rain at the end of September came too late to cause significant dilution. (The picking began on 24th September)