Learn more about 1998 Loire
A challenging year for Loire producers and a mixed bag of wines ranging from the dilute and insipid though to some wines of real class and style. The winter was mild but April saw heavy rains, followed by savage frosts at the end of the month, which caused severe damage to many vineyards and severely reduced the potential yields. Temperatures were below average in May, June and July, and summer did not really begin in earnest until August, which was extremely hot and dry. It rained sporadically throughout most of September. A small crop of concentrated and firmly-structured wines was produced in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé and the quality is high. The Cabernet Franc based reds of Chinon and Bourgueil are more uneven in quality, although conscientious quality- driven growers, such as Charles Jouguet, have produced well-balanced wines that display good depth of fruit.