Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 1998


The story
Château de Beaucastel has long been considered one of the great wines of France. It is unanimously renowned for its balance, elegance and ageing potential. Beaucastel has an extraordinary terroir at the Northern end of the appellation with heavy exposure to the Mistral. All 13 varieties of the appellation have been organically grown here since the sixties.
The vintage
An exceptional vintage.
A very hot summer, great weather conditions until the end of the harvest.
Châteauneuf du Pape, between Orange and Avignon, Château de Beaucastel red is a 70-hectare vineyard.
Château de Beaucastel is 110 hectares, with one single plot at the north of the appellation. The terroir is archetypal of the best terroirs in Châteauneuf: rolled pebbles on the surface, sand, clay and limestone deeper down. The vines are old and have been organically grown for 50 years, which has allowed the roots to grow exceptionally deep.
Beaucastel grows all thirteen grape varieties authorised by the appellation.
Each variety is harvested manually and separately. Vinification is completed in truncated oak barrels for the reductive grapes (Mourvèdre and Syrah) and in traditional tiled cement tanks for the oxidative grapes (such as Grenache). After the malolactic fermentations, the family blends the different varieties and then the wine ages in oak Foudres for a year before being bottled.
Grenache : 30%
Mourvèdre : 30%
Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne : 15%
Syrah : 10%
Counoise : 10%
Cinsault : 5%


15°C and if possible decant before serving.
Tasting notes
Dark red in colour with a few signs of evolution.
The nose is very elegant and open with notes of red fruit, Morello cherries and Garrigue.
The mouth is round, very complex and a balances well between the fruit and the tannins. A very good length with soft tannins.

A big vintage that is drinking well now.


"For every quirky outsider of a wine, there is a classical, downright Baroque bottle that presents itself simply, like an antique desk, yet is so utterly beautiful in its minimal presentation that it trumps its younger counterparts every time. And that wine is the 1998 Beaucastel. There are few words that come to mind when one drinks this wine. It speaks for itself impeccably." [+]
"Would be my wine of choice walking a boulder strewn vineyard on a misty morning in the Southern Rhône. Expressions are hurled around the table, “candified Pinot nose” and “tutti frutti.” For Beaucastel? I can’t believe the tripartite fruit freshness, ambient funk immersion and pencil lead sharpness. This ’98 is ”light as a feather, heavy as lead.” The Beaucastel will brighten up your tomorrow."
"Very youthful, with a juicy blast of red plum and fig fruit flavors on a racy frame, this also has plenty of spice, tar, plum cake and mineral in reserve, as the finish shows more structure and slowly darkens with time in the glass. Only just starting to hit its stride.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Drink now through 2027."
"That may explain the open-knit, complex notes of tree bark, black cherries, licorice, seaweed, pepper, and floral notes in the 1998 Beaucastel. The wine is medium to full-bodied, has nice, sweet tannins, and is surprisingly open and approachable. This wine has reached the beginning of its plateau of maturity, where it should last for at least a decade or more."
"Scented and fresh, still showing some red fruit and a touch of vanilla. Elegant and silky. Lingers with flavours of thyme and a hint of bitter chocolate. 'A Grenache vintage', according to Marc Perrin"
"Roundness and power are the characteristics of this hot vintage. Beautiful and full of life, this wine will improve even more over the next few years. It also could be enjoyed now with a dish adapted to its power.
Stand the bottle upright 48 hours before serving to avoid any deposit.
"La robe, de couleur rubis à grenat est très soutenue, le nez est net, intense et précis, avec des arômes, de roses, de fruits rouges (cerises kirschées) , de mûres, d’épices douces, d’herbes méditerranéennes, et des notes de léger menthol. L’attaque est très veloutée, avec une puissance sous-jacente naturelle, les tannins sont fins et très élégants, à la trame serrée, et très finement texturés dans un centre dense et très plein, soulignée de fruits épicés intenses. La finale est longue, d'un séduisant velouté de texture, d’une grande finesse malgré sa richesse, harmonieuse, aux saveurs multiples et complexes (fruits, fleurs, épices, herbes aromatiques). Note plaisir 18" [+]
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"The atypically Grenache-dominated 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape is fully mature and gives up tons of kirsch, garrigue, licorice and a touch of gaminess in its full-bodied, layered and ripe personality. More rounded and sexy than most vintages, it has no hard edges, plenty of mid-palate depth and a great finish. I see no reason to delay gratification, but it will certainly hold for 5-10 years."
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"With a beautiful ruby colour, this wine reveals a Grenache nose, with some animal notes. Very round on the palate, it shows aromas of ripe fruit, slightly Pinot."
"Characterized by its exuberance, this vintage presents fruity and fresh characters. Elegant and seductive thanks to the suppleness of its tannins, its final is infinite, marked by the sweetness of Grenache.
A wine to keep or to serve after a light decanting or in a large glass at 15°C.