Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 1988
JD92: Seeming to be drinking at maturity, this bottle of 1988 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape started out reserved and muted, only to open up beautifully in the glass over the evening. Subtle garrigue, rose petal, and meaty aromas are supported by surprisingly fresh, mature red fruits on the nose. The overall mature feel carries over to the palate where the wine is medium bodied with perfect integration and a seamless, long finish. I like the freshness here, and I think this bodes well for it continuing to drink well, but I see no reason to hold these.
WA90: The 1988 Beaucastel has evolved from a surprisingly forward, supple style to one that is now revealing more tannin and structure. Nevertheless, the wine already has accessibility and charm. It exhibits a healthy dark ruby/purple color with no signs of age. Medium- to full-bodied, with plenty of earthy, sweet, ripe fruit, a dosage of brett (a sweaty horse/old leather scent), and a long, rich, concentrated, moderately tannic finish. The wine will evolve for another 12-15 years and last even longer.