This has always been one of the harder-edged wines of the vintage, but it is showing some signs of softening. The color remains dark, with aromas of grilled herb, tobacco and beef leading the way for currant, chestnut and garrigue notes that are carried by the prominent tannin structure. The chewy, mouthfilling finish is starting to let some sweet flesh come out from behind the iron and stone notes. Still needs time, but this is rock solid. (JS)
A rustic, burly wine, the 1998 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau displays nice garrigue, hot stone, licorice and seaweed notes on the big and rich nose. Medium to full bodied, this shows considerable structure and power with ripe fruit and a coarse, slightly rustic texture. Medium tannins show up on the finish.
Good full medium ruby. Complex nose combines black fruits, nuts and flowers; strong peppery, vegetal suggestion of young Syrah. Quite tight and rather powerfully styled, with an herbaceous suggestion of youthful Syrah. Like the '99, this is tannic, but here the tannins are sweeter and more thoroughly buffered by fruit. Built for aging; may ultimately merit a higher score. (ST) 90+
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