1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (torn label)
A big, rich wine with huge amounts of fruit oozing out of the glass. Great concentration and intensity, with licorice flavors from the Mourvèdre, finishing with chewy tannins. A great year for this wine, which should age well for 15 to 20 years.
Very youthful, with a juicy blast of red plum and fig fruit flavors on a racy frame, this also has plenty of spice, tar, plum cake and mineral in reserve, as the finish shows more structure and slowly darkens with time in the glass. Only just starting to hit its stride.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Drink now through 2027.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
That may explain the open-knit, complex notes of tree bark, black cherries, licorice, seaweed, pepper, and floral notes in the 1998 Beaucastel. The wine is medium to full-bodied, has nice, sweet tannins, and is surprisingly open and approachable. This wine has reached the beginning of its plateau of maturity, where it should last for at least a decade or more.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good medium red. Aromas of red fruit syrup, cola, milk chocolate, humus, graphite and prune. Sweet, lush and rich, with the fruit syrup flavor showing a distinctly roasted quality. Grew fresher and juicier with a bit of aeration and held its shape nicely, but eventually the pruney element became more pronounced. With little in the way of primary fruit remaining, this doesn't really come alive, in spite of its complexity.
Scented and fresh, still showing some red fruit and a touch of vanilla. Elegant and silky. Lingers with flavours of thyme and a hint of bitter chocolate. 'A Grenache vintage', according to Marc Perrin. 18/20 points. (JH)