Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Two 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
In hindsight it was a lemmel behaviour on my part, more than a genuine interest. Ah, well, you live and learn.
Over the years we have done some nice tastings with the 98´s - in 2003 we tasted 30+ of them. A lot of them have been really, really good, but regardless how good, a Châteauneuf can´t get my spine tingling, like a great Barolo, Burgundy or Bordeaux can.
I still have some 98´s left in a almost forgotten bin - time to test drive two of them.
1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de Beaurenard
A mature, round, nice nose with lots of forest floor, autumn leaves, red currants, dried resin and a touch of bonfire. Earthy and good. Not that much depth, but it is perfectly mature with pleasant fruit.
The taste is bigger than the nose leads on and has a nice warmth and notes of red currants, dried raspberries, garrigue, resin and some smoke. The finish is medium long and warm. Very good. This has matured nicely and even though it doesn´t have heaps of complexity it is drinking really well. Drink up.
88p (tasted 2013/09)
1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grande Garde, Domaine Saint Benoit
This on the other hand has gone a bit too long in its evolvement. At least on the nose, which is big, ripe and meaty with notes of moist earth, overripe raspberries, Coca-Cola and rosehips. A bit too sweet and barnyardy.
The taste keeps things together in a better fashion. The sweetness is more withdrawn and better integrated in the structure. The finish is long and warm with notes of raspberry licorice, autumn leaves, meat stock and warm herbs. A good acidity. The taste saves this from being overblown. Should have been drunk 5 years ago.
86p (tasted 2013/09)