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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 1993

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

This wine is ready to drink and must be decanted several hours before serving. Stand the bottle upright 48 hours before serving to avoid any deposit.

The cherry, licorice and black pepper flavors are true to form, but dominated by firm tannins at this stage. Well made and should show better in 1997.

When I tasted the 1993 Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape, the wine was far more showy, flashy, and open-knit than bottles tasted state-side, admittedly right after reaching these shores. I backed off my initial high rating a bit and added the question mark because of how tannic, backward, and firm the wine showed on two separate occasions from a case I purchased. It certainly possesses the dense color I described in my original review (issue #101), as well as plenty of body and intensity. However, the rich, sweet, open-knit bouquet has gone into hibernation, leaving a tightly-knit wine that is frozen in place, reluctantly offering up aromas of black fruits and smoke. Tannic, austere, and more in step with the 1988, this appears to be a vintage that will require more initial cellaring than I had anticipated. It will be interesting to re-taste this wine after it has had 4-6 months of rest on these shores.