An exploration of wine

344. Château Rauzan-Gassies, 2ème Cru Classé Margaux, 1998

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Book 2 Wine 344

€47; 12.5%

The ‘lesser’ Rauzan (poor cousin of Rauzan-Ségla), and in a fairly good year at best. Picked up in the poor-standard wine shop at the Channel Tunnel French terminus, as the best-priced thing of interest. And I’m glad – pretty nice, definitely ready, although I’d rate La Chapelle de la Mission 2001 as a better wine. Double-decanted before sharing with Lucy. Medium-deep, black-garnet core, with a narrow garnet rim. A smoky hit initially, with complexity of ‘gravel’?(!), cigar box, oak-toast and (fortunately, since it accompanied fresh biltong) biltong-beef hints. Little obvious fruit character until deep, residual plum fruit emerged. Little Margaux “perfume”? Savoury. Fairly accessible. Maturing. Sweet-smoky, fresh, redcurrant flavours. Quite high acidity and only moderate tannin. Pretty long, smoky finish. Savoury, but appetising. A food wine. Drink up.

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