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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 1989

AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vallée du Rhône, France

This wine is now at its best, revealing finesse and roundness with a persistent mouth and great length. Stand the bottle upright 48 hours before serving to avoid any deposit.

So delicate and perfumed and yet still well structured on the palate. Seems much younger than the 1990. Graceful, silky, juicy and lingering and hardly any undergrowth or leather as yet. A beautiful wine.

The 1989 is inkier/purple in color than the 1990, with an extraordinarily sweet, rich personality offering up notes of smoke, melted licorice, black cherries, Asian spices, and cassis. Full-bodied and concentrated, it is one of the most powerful as well as highly extracted Beaucastels I have ever tasted. It requires another 3-4 years to reach its plateau of maturity, where it should remain for at least two decades. (Many purchasers have reported bottle leakage (due to a cork problem) with this vintage. I purchased two cases of this wine, but none of my bottles reveal any sign of leakage. A good friend of mine, Dr. Jay Miller, owner of Bin 604 Wine Sellers in Baltimore, has consistently had a problem with “corked” bottles of the 1989, but no leakage.)

Perhaps the greatest Beaucastel ever produced. Has the class and structure of a great vintage of Mouton-Rothschild. Deep, inky in color, with intense herb, plum, game and spice aromas, this full-bodied wine has an explosion of fruit and an iron backbone. Try the beginning of next century.--Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Best from 1995 through 2005. 25,000 cases made.

Perfectly medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of bacon fat, cedar, and garrigue, with a hint of redcurrant fruit. In the mouth gorgeous flavors of exotic woods, smoked meats, raspberries, cherry and wet stones swirl in a beautiful melange. Incredible breadth and length, with a phenomenal seamlessness and balance. Stunning mineral and cedar finish.