Has a mature brick hint at the rim, but this is still very youthful, with an elegant, silky core of red and black currant fruit that holds the upper hand over the garrigue, graphite and licorice notes. The long, very fine-grained finish lets an alluring incense note peek in. A beauty, this is all about finesse and should cruise in the cellar.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Drink now through 2027. (JM)
From a vintage called a 'Grenache year' by Paul-Vincent, the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape is atypically medium-bodied and supple, with an endearing, drink-me-now feel in its sweet fruits, cedar, spice, mint and charcuterie-laced aromas and flavors. Pretty, classy and balanced, it's another wine I'd lean toward drinking soon rather than later. (JD)
Deep red. Expressive, very complex aromas of plum, leather, animal fur, minerals and smoke, along with spice and kirsch notes from the mourvedre. Concentrated, smooth and penetrating, thanks to excellent acidity; fresh and youthful. Plenty of volume here, as well as the balance to reward aging (Avril believes the wine will close down for five to seven years). Strong youthfully spicy character. Finishes with fine, dusty tannins and subtle persistence. Doesn't offer the roasted aspect of the most headspinning '98s, but this is quite suave. 90+ (ST)
Very rich, spicy and luscious with excellent structure. When it was opened several hours before drinking, it was suspected of displaying a bit of brett but by the time it was served with lunch it was pretty gorgeous and satisfying. Just what you want from a mature Châteauneuf. 18.5/20 points (JR)
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