Very youthful, with a ripe core of red currant and raspberry fruit and licorice flavor surrounded by creamy tannins. Plenty of smoke, mineral and tobacco notes chiming in, but this still has a ways to go, with plenty of grip still on the finish. 1995 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Drink now through 2025. (JM)
The classic 1995 Chateauneuf du Pape will require discipline. Like most top vintages of Beaucastel, a decade of patience will be warranted before this wine will be enjoyable to drink. Given how tight and closed the 1993 and 1994 are, it is the rare vintage of Beaucastel (1989, 1990, and 1995) that is accessible in its youth, yet they will remain capable of aging for 20-25 years. In some ways, proprietors Francois and Jean-Pierre Perrin might be accused of trying to make the wine too long-lived, as if this is the primary merit to a great red wine. The 1995 will have three decades of longevity, but it will not be approachable before 2006. It exhibits a deep dark ruby/purple color, and a provocative (probably controversial) aromatic profile of animal fur, tar, truffles, black cherries, cassis, licorice, and minerals. A medium to full-bodied wine, with a boatload of tannin, considerable grip and structure, and a weighty feel in the mouth, this appears to be a classic vin de garde made in the style of the 1978 Beaucastel (which is still not close to full maturity). Prospective purchasers over the age of forty should be buying this wine for their children. (RP)
While the ’96 seems ready to go, this bottle of 1995 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape started open and lush but slowly firmed up, presenting an almost clean, civilized bouquet of earthy black cherry, truffle, roasted meats, and a touch of tobacco. I love the clarity and focus on the nose. The palate follows suit with medium body, plenty of ripe fruit, a smooth, balanced character and a classy finish. After a less than stellar showing by a recent bottle, this reaffirms my belief that this has a long life ahead of it. Will it improve? I don’t know and it’s certainly delicious now. I would hold bottles for another 2 to 3 years and then drink over the following decade. 92+
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