Red Rhone 1998: Drink now
The best southern Rhône vintage since 1990. Northern Rhônes are full, punchy and well developed.
A long dry summer threatened drought in the north, but September rain prevented blocked maturation. There was dry weather from 20-25 September, then more rain. In the south a short period of welcome rain arrived before harvesting began in impeccable conditions.
Northern Rhone : reds were very good, with fine concentration and structure. Southern Rhone: the vintage proved a triumph. Some over-ambitious growers may have over-extracted, but this is still the best southern Rhône vintage, by and large, since 1990.
The southern wines are the stars of the vintage, particularly Chateauneuf from Beaucastel, la Nerthe, Pegau, Domaine de Villeneuve, Vieux Mas des Papes, and Vieux Telegraphe. Very good Gigondas (Domaine du Cayron and Chateau du Trignon in particular) and Vacqueyras (Clos des Cazaux)