This bottle of 1988 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape started out reserved and muted, only to open up beautifully in the glass over the evening. Subtle garrigue, rose petal, and meaty aromas are supported by surprisingly fresh, mature red fruits on the nose. The overall mature feel carries over to the palate where the wine is medium bodied with perfect integration and a seamless, long finish.
This has a charming, rustic nose of leather, candlewax, black pepper and a touch of peat. The palate is cohesive and harmonious, not in the same league as the ensuing couple of vintages but with good poise and definition, notes of ripe black cherries, blueberry and iodine with vibrant acidity lending it a clean crisp finish. Perhaps a little linear compared to others but still a great, mature CdP that is a joy to drink rather than intellectualize about. (NM)
Elegant and understated, with lovely fruit and structure. Has an excellent deep color, with focused black cherry and refined spice aromas, a full body of refined tannins and spice and berry flavors. Needs time to develop. (JS)
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