Bottle Notes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Chateau de Beaucastel, located in Courthezon in the Southern Rhone Valley, has over 250 acres of organic vineyards. Unlike many Rhone Valley producers, Beaucastel grows all 13 of the grapes permitted in the appellation and the estate uses an unusually high percentage of Mourvèdre in its red wines, usually around 30%, along with 30% Grenache and smaller amounts of Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarese and Muscardin. The estate’s most prestigious wine, Hommage a Jacques Perrin, is made with 70% Mourvedre. Several families have owned the estate over the course of its 400-year history and the present owners are the Perrin family, whose ownership of the estate dates to 1909.

I opened this bottle to celebrate completing my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I did not decant the wine and it was served with a grilled tri tip roast.

Light red in color. 13.5% ABV. Scintillating nose of red fruits, kirsch liqueur and herbes de Provence. Full bodied with perfect acidity. Rich, exceedingly plush and well balanced. Cherries, thyme, game and cracked black pepper on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Just a stunning bottle of Beaucastel. Classic, old school CdP. Definitely rivals the ’98 Vieux Telegraphe as one of the top wines of the vintage. I have one more bottle left that I will revisit in 2020 or so. Best over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 96 points.

Current vintages of Beaucastel including the ’15 are widely available at retail and a good buy in the $90 range.

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