A port wine from 1998 would make an excellent 23 year old wine gift for a birthday or anniversary. This year was not generally declared as a vintage, however a small crop produced some good and powerful Single Quinta Vintage Ports. Colheitas or Single Harvest Ports such as Kopke or Barros would make an excellent alternative for port lovers and newcomers alike.
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, we would recommend picking a Barolo or Barbaresco from Piedmont. The wines are classics and will drink well now or keep for years to come.
This year favoured the merlot grape, leading to a glorious vintage in Pomerol and St Emilion. 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 underrated, but properties with the finest terroirs have produced some excellent high-quality wines that are now showing tremendous promise.
Castillon is off the radar of many claret fans, yet La Clarière proves its wines can match St Emilion next door. With over 150 awards, including Paris’ top Lauréat, La Clarière deserves its title as “leading estate in Côtes de Castillon” (Decanter).
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