1998 Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape

For every quirky outsider of a wine, there is a classical, downright Baroque bottle  that presents itself simply, like an antique desk, yet is so utterly beautiful in its minimal presentation that it trumps its younger counterparts every time. And that wine is the 1998 Beaucastel. There are few words that come to mind when one drinks this wine. It speaks for itself impeccably.It’s no question that the ’98 is one of the best vintages in the last twenty years. What makes it so impeccable is how rock-solid and consistent of a wine this is. This was my first tasting, but my father has had this same wine roughly six times in the last few years and he maintains the opinion that it is still getting better. With a healthy brick-red color and a twinge of terra cotta around the rim, it was a clear and rounded wine with exceptionally indulgent qualities.Ratings be damned, this wine is still going strong. It is one of the few that hasn’t fallen prey to the Parkerization of Rhône wines and has unfortunately suffered as a result. Recently, Parker lowered his score of this vintage from 100 points to 92, with dramatic price drops as a result. If you’re looking for a Beaucastel, don’t fall prey to the hype of ratings and buy while the prices are low. This delivers the elegance and power of the 1990 and a prowess evocative of a more polished 1983, with a lusciously wet texture and a quiet, powerful flavor. It’s intensely aromatic with classic Beaucastel garrigue, ripe with brettanomyces and enveloping the olfactory bulb with dark chocolate, aged oak, old leather jacket, and a bloody, meaty flavor akin to the ’52 Jaboulet but with a little less of a gamey edge, counterbalanced by a downright creamy flash of vanilla and a saltier finish. Phenomenal and utterly classic. A wine best paired with brooding and Goethe (or any other Sturm und Drang pioneer) it should prove to be a lasting and improving bottle in coming years.

1998 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
MSRP $96
98/100

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About Jess
Rotten? Perhaps. Sweet? Without a doubt. Welcome to Nobly Rotten- the wine site that dares to be a little off.

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