Showing a rich, honeyed character, the 1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is very rich and nuanced, possessing creamy notes of almond paste, crème brûlée, and vanilla that are focused and freshened up by solid minerality that comes through more on the palate. While definitely showing a mature richness on the nose, this stays fresh and lively in the mouth with beautiful balance, a big, mouth filling texture and solid focus that comes through on the finish. Better now than on release? I doubt it, nevertheless, this interesting beauty shows how dramatically these wines change as they age. (JD)
A powerful yet very ripe white, showing very toasted oak treatment, with smoke, toasted coconut, honey and chocolate complexity. But it works because there's enough rich fruit to support the wood shock treatment. A wine with a track record for aging. (PM)
The 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes (produced from 50-year old vines) may not be very ostentatious or concentrated, but it is an extremely impressive wine with aromas and flavors of grapefruit, orange marmalade, honey, and white flowers. Full-bodied, dense, and super-concentrated, this is a stunningly pure winemaking tour de force that admirably demonstrates what can be achieved in selected terroirs of the southern Rhone. (RP)
Deeper but lively aromas of apricot, lime, flowers, nut oil and spicy oak. More concentrated than the last bottle but also bright, firm and evolving slowly. Very long and fresh on the back end. Long on potential. (ST)
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