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.