Château de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1988

Beaucastel 1988

Beaucastel 1988 #4

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+.

Beaucastel 1988 #1

Beaucastel 1988 #3

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