1998 Chateau de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L)
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. 15,000 cases made. (JM)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The atypically Grenache-dominated 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape is fully mature and gives up tons of kirsch, garrigue, licorice and a touch of gaminess in its full-bodied, layered and ripe personality. More rounded and sexy than most vintages, it has no hard edges, plenty of mid-palate depth and a great finish. I see no reason to delay gratification, but it will certainly hold for 5-10 years. (JD)
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...
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 Score (JH)
95 points Neal Martin: "This remains my favourite Beaucastel of the late-90’s and contrasted with other vintages, comes out trumps. A huge nose of plum, iodine, liquorices, earth and game instantly captivates the senses and yet still has a sense of being primal. The palate is still backward, full-bodied and sinewy, understated at first but building towards a complex finish of cherry, damson, smoke and a touch of wild mushroom. Great harmony and focus, this is an outstanding Beaucastel to savour. Drink 2015-2035." (03/2008)