Twenty-five years on tasting.
Oxblood red with touches of ochre. High-toned nose, no great spicy richness typical of Beaucastel but balanced, upright and stately: gamey red berry fruit, Provençal herb, beef jus, powdered iron, woodsmoke, undergrowth and a lovely depth of soil character. Autumnal flavors and your grandfather’s leather chair. Cool, firm and more savory on the palate, medium-full: umami flavors to go with the dried cranberry, red currant, beetroot, damson plum. A little tannin left, ripe and fine-grained. Very fine acidity and grip. Measured, essential and bare (this does not mean charmless, dried out, unripe or lacking flesh: more that it comes to the dance without frippery). A very different expression of Beaucastel from the more gregarious, big-boned ’89 and ’90. But like the ’81 we think the ’88 may provide a little more insight into the breed of this producer. Very fine. And many miles to go before it sleeps. Unfortunately, we have had variable bottles. Now – 2020+.