Yields for the 1997 Chateauneuf du Pape were tiny, averaging 22 hectoliters per hectare, and the wine is one of the most seductive and forward young Beaucastels I have tasted since the 1985. The blend was 35% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 10% Counoise, 5% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, and the rest other southern Rhone varietals. The deep ruby color is accompanied by forward, attractive aromatics consisting of black raspberries, cherries, licorice, floral, and herb scents. The wine is fruit-driven, with less structure than usual, but luscious cassis, licorice, and blackberries inundate the palate with no hard edges. (RP)
Good deep ruby-red. Spicy aromas of black cherry and bitter chocolate; the 40% mourvedre component gives this wine unusual freshness for a '97. Silky but bright on the palate, with leather and game nuances adding complexity to the black fruit flavors. Brisk finish hints at tree bark and leather. (ST)
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