1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
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. (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. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated ruby-red. Superripe but reticent, grenache-dominated aromas of roasted plum, cherry jam, tar and humus. Fat, lush and stuffed with fruit; almost heavy today compared to the '99. But this is utterly silky and its firm underlying structure is buried by fruit and baby fat. Intriguing meat and licorice notes. A wine of superb finesse and superfine tannins. (ST)
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)