Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape, 1985

There were other wines I could have gone to, but I chose this 1985 Beaucastel to help me celebrate my 70th birthday. And I wasn't disappointed.

The color is a medium to deep ruby, clear and bright but with some floating sediment. Beaucastel is unique among Chateauneufs because of a relatively high percentage of Mourvedre, and the Mourvedre--often shy and reticent in youth--has arrived in this 1985. Blue and purple--violets, blueberries and Provencal herbs. The bouquet is not perfect; there is a dry element (not necessarily unpleasant) that probably comes from the sediment. But I don't detect brett (a common complaint with some vintages of Beaucastel). In the mouth, the wine is a plump ripe berry of Beaucastel beauty. This is what I remember tasting when the wine was released...but with the added nuances to be expected from 20 plus years of aging. Plump, spicy and still fruity--warm blueberries and cream on the finish.

Oh, I suppose this wine appears more tired at age 24 than I feel at age 70. But no wine lives forever.


  1. Brett is still alive. He is a dentist in new jersey. I suspect he wouldn't mind dying in a vat of Beaucastel CdP. I sure wouldn't!

    Many, many happy returns, Fred.

  2. Thank you! Like you, I would take brett in a glass of Beaucastel over Brett in a dentist's chair any day.

  3. Happy Birthday, Fred!
    I have followed your wine reccos for many years, on the wine lovers page and here, and I tend to share your tastes in wine (except I tend to like them younger than you). You have steered me right many many times, and I thank you for that. I especially like that you look for value - there is something wonderful in a fresh, fruity, well balanced bottle that costs less than $10 (especially less than $8!)- it takes me back to the old days of good $6 Cotes du Rhone.

    Here's to many more years of many more wines!