Chateau de Beaucastel, AOC Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vaucluse, PACA, France, 1999
This wine: no lot number, so a single bottling (of a very large blending vat) is assumed; a blend of up to 13 permitted varieties, with mourvedre, grenache noir, counoise, syrah and cinsault predominating, each variety being vinified separately; coated natural cork closure, 13.5% abv, Gauntleys, £50 (04/17)
Consumer tasting note: a garnet hued and fully developed Chateauneuf-du-Pape, not dissimilar to a well-aged Chateau Musar, with quite strong aromas of VA, stewed and conserved berries, prune, raisin, old leather, dried herbs and a whiff of tobacco; medium bodied, with a palate of dried cherry and cranberry, dark plum jam, dried currant, a little funky, with a touch of mushroom. Finishes medium-long. Decant for 15 minutes, and savour over a further 30 or so, in glass.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity garnet, showing tears [and a moderate quantity of soft sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of a little pepper and damp toast – which becomes a touch stronger, a hint of VA, cold stewed red cherry, brighter red cherry of a floral quality, red currant jelly, raisin, wet prune, spice, bees-wax, baked black berry, spicy red plum jam, old leather, cumin, dried herbs, hint of tobacco.
Palate: dry, high acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a sense of sweet ripe red fruit in mid-palate (aka sucrosity), with flavours of a little funk, spicy plum jam, dried red cherry and cranberry, dried currants, a touch of sweet oak, a hint of mushroom on the end. A medium (+) length with a clean dried berry finish, with a funky edge on the end.
Quality: very good, nicely balanced fresh acidity and ripe tannins with alcohol, altogether suiting the rich developed profile of good intensity, with a similar concentration; fully developed, with a moderate towards high complexity of a bottle aged tertiary nature, with still a little toast and spice from time in long and well-integrated wood, with notes of cooked and dried berries, a little brett showing through, culminating in old leather, tobacco and a touch of mushroom. Finishes medium-long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-3 years – a sound structure and balance, fully developed, with not optimal qualities, but there is character that will hold.