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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 1990

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

Layers of complexity, drinking superbly now

The nose is on notes of damp forest, mushrooms and humus. The fruit, the tension, the freshness and the spices give this wine unbelievable balance and complexity. This wine can be enjoyed now or can be kept a few more years. Stand the bottle upright 48 hours before serving to avoid any deposit.

Surprisingly pale in colour with earthy, leather notes and cherries pushing through on the mid-palate. Silky, ripe tannins.

After the 1998, a sudden jump to all the signs of maturity: herbs and leather and undergrowth but still fragrant on the mid palate. Silky and sweet in the mouth with a touch of black truffle and tobacco leaf. Tannins are resolved but still a little foursquare

Two great back to back vintages are the 1990 and 1989. The more developed 1990 boasts an incredible perfume of hickory wood, coffee, smoked meat, Asian spices, black cherries, and blackberries. Lush, opulent, and full-bodied, it is a fully mature, profound Beaucastel that will last another 15-20 years.

It's a generous, concentrated, intensely fruity Châteauneuf that blends mouthfilling flavors with complex cedar, spice and leather accents. Sturdy tannins and solid acidity mark this as a good candidate to cellar. Best after 1996.

Medium ruby in color, this wine smells of bacon fat, cedar, and exotic incense with a hint of dried flowers. In the mouth the wine has fine grained tannins that have a supple tension to them. Still coiled tight, the cedar, cherry and sandalwood flavors are more linear than the '89 but no less compelling. Gorgeous acidity and balance. Great length and poise. This wine has a long way to go yet. The finish is deeply mineral and resonant. Stunning.