Another very good year for Tuscany and Piedmont although some Tuscan producers suffered from poor picking timing during the October rains. Those that picked before or after were rewarded with long living wines but to be sure, pick a Barolo or Barbaresco from Piedmont. The wines are classics and will drink well now or keep for another 10 years or more.
1998 wine: This year favoured the merlot grape leading to a glorious vintage in Pomerol and St Emillion. This is undoubtedly the greatest vintage for Merlot-dominated wines since 1990 and the quality of the St-Emilions and Pomerols is outstanding being powerful and tannic. The Médoc wines were initially under-rated, but properties with the finest terroirs have produced some excellent high-quality wines that are now showing tremendous promise.
1998 port: Not generally declared as a vintage. A small crop produced some good and powerful Quinta Vintage Ports. Colheitas or Single Harvest Ports such as Kopke or Barros would make an excellent alternative for port lovers.