Cellar Favorite: 1978 & 1990 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Dec 2019)

The 1990 Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a compelling bouquet of plump red fruit, oxtail, leather and morels, all well defined and full of chutzpah. The palate is smooth in texture and, at 29 years old, has certainly mellowed. There is a core of sweet fruit here, but it has softened with age and delivers a smorgasbord of second flavors: meat juices, clove and touches of fennel. It does not possess the audacity of the Hommage à Jacques Perrin, yet it has retained effortless charm.