1996 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Beaucastel is performing better after time in the bottle. With high acidity, this tannic, austere example is reminiscent (at least texturally) of a young Medoc. Blackberry, earthy, leathery, spicy notes can be found in the aromas. In the mouth, the wine exhibits medium body, tangy acidity, plenty of meaty Mourvedre characteristics, and a structured, austere finish. It should only be purchased by those with the patience to wait for this wine to develop. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2015.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full red. Less obviously ripe aromas of black cherry, dark berries, cocoa powder, and smoke, plus a faint medicinal nuance. More open in the mouth today than Beaucastel's '97; shows lovely sweetness and texture and very good cut and thrust. Hints of leather and game. Not quite as ripe as the '97, but finishes quite persistent, with a subtly perfumed quality. This may well be for drinking after the '97.