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.
A port wine from 1998 would make an excellent 24 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.
Brunello de Montalcino is one of Italys most famous and most expensive red wines. It is produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Florence in the Tuscany wine region.
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