Showing a youthful red color with some slight lightening at the edges, the 1985 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a beautiful Beaucastel funk nose with ripe raspberries, earth, leather, mushroom and sauvage notes. Perfumed, nuanced and complex, this held up wonderfully over the course of dinner and even gained intensity with air. The palate is medium bodied with a silky, almost seamless texture, nice balance and a medium length finish. Everything is perfectly integrated and this was drinking amazingly well. An awesome wine.
The 1985 Beaucastel is a wine that I drank quite a bit of in the first bloom of youth, and then, having finished my case up, have not seen with any great regularity in the last ten years. I have heard reports of folks that taste this vintage with more frequency that there can be some bottles that are rather heavily marked by brettanomyces, but this recent bottle was clean, pure and very promising, albeit still a few years away from reaching its apogee. The bouquet is lovely and quite classically middle-aged in its profile, with still some of the density of youth now beginning to morph into secondary layers of complexity in its mélange of dried black cherries, cassis, espresso, hung game, incipient notes of dried oak leaves, soil tones that are not yet transparent and a topnote of ground pepper. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and very long in the mouth, with a fine core of fruit, still some ripe tannins to resolve, and excellent length and grip on the classy finish. I would suspect that the ’85 Beaucastel could use another few years to really blossom, and will reach its absolute apogee in eight to ten years. (Drink between 2010-2040).
One of the most charming Beaucastels since it was first bottled (and still holding on today), is the gorgeous 1985. Its medium ruby color reveals considerable amber/pink at the edge. This offering demonstrates that a wine does not need a lot of tannin and power to age well; it’s all about balance. Velvety-textured, opulent, sweet, and appealing, this remains a classic Beaucastel. (RP)
A seductive wine, with lush flavors. Wonderfully deep ruby in color, with rosemary, tomato and earth aromas, full-bodied, focused raspberry and chocolate flavors, silky tannins and a long finish. (JS)
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