Despite a rainy vintage on the left bank in '98, there were some good wines made. This Pauillac fifth-growth should be easy to track down. A succulent red, with tobacco, cherry and berry character. Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a barley and fruit a —James Suckling
Perhaps better known for its white wine, Carbonnieux has turned out a very good '98 red. Meaty and earthy, with berry and tobacco aromas. Medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a medium finish. Best after 2004. 20,000 cases made. —James Suckling
This stylish Australian Cabernet shows a solid band of anise, smoke and cedar-scented blackberry and currant flavors, which linger and expand nicely on the finish. Best from 2003 through 2011. 7,900 cases made. —Harvey Steiman
Here's a moderately priced Bordeaux value, from a château with ample case production. Pretty plum and berry character on the nose. Medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a medium finish. Delicious. Best after 2005. 20,830 cases made. —James Suckling
Here's a well-priced and amply made New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and zingy, a lively mouthful of anise- and herb-scented apple and citrus flavors. Drink now. 12,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman
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