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  • 1994 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (4/9/2006)
    A little bricking at the edges and a little lighter in color than I expected. Beautiful bouquet. A little tight on the palate for the first hour or so, but then brightened up considerably. Very much like other Beaucastels that I've had, but maybe a touch less. Rasberries, strawberries and tobacco. Not a great wine, but a very nice wine to go with a meal. (91 pts.)

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I had the same wine this past weekend and was disappointed. Bouquet was like antiseptic, very musty like old bandages. After decanting it did freshen up a bit in the glass but it was still very barnyard like. Almost no finish. I was searching, swirling the wine on the palate to find the grenache and nothing was there. Just must.

Can't explain it, cork was fine, possibly the result of poor cellaring? Any comments, perhaps my palate is just wooden? I have one other bottle of this 1994 CdeP and hope it turns out better.
2004 is supposed to be more classic Cdp unlike the 2003's which are more ripe and less acidic like a california style wine. Cdps can tend to be finicky and shut down on occasion for awhile. 2004 in Cdp is supposed to be classic. I'd hold the last bottle for 6 or 7 years and try again. My 2000 Beaucastels are drinking great right now. No 2004 Cdps have hit the twin cities yet.
OR from the Beaucastel website:
Color : dark ruby red
Nose : rosemary, thyme,lavender, smoked wood( without being influenced by new oak).
Mouth : fresh attack, mouthfilling with spices and fruit, a temptation to drink young.
Serve with grilled meat, flavored with rosemary, thyme (don’t over it) and a peppery sauce ( not to strong) next to it.
Better to wait, but yet in super form, if you like drinking young wines.
Decant at least one hour in advance, drink at 15°C."

I read those notes and is it safe to say my 94 CdeP is going through an awkward adolescent stage and maybe I should save the other bottle for 5 years?

The bottle I had the other day was very barn-like with almost no fruit, and the color was cherry with orange/brown edges. A normal amount of sediment. So is it a thumbs-up keep and drink later or thumbs down I just got a bad bottle?
Normally, I prefer to hold the better CdPs from great vintages for at least 15 years. 1994 was neither a great vintage nor a long-lived vintage. At 10 years from vintage date, I thought this wine was close to ready, but I have trouble with evaluating young Rhones. If we assume yours was not an off-bottle or corked (by no means a sure thing), then it may be closing down. The beauty of aging CdPs is the way they emerge from the closed state. The fruit seems to come out of nowhere. A flat, dull, relatively lifeless wine can become a great flavorful juicy-fruity wine.
I'll hang onto it and give it another try in 2 years. Can't drink it now anyway.

What's your opinion of some of the Aussie GSM's? I recently bought some 2003/04 Rosemount GSM and some Cullen Mangan (2004) to stash away for several years. At about $32Canadian a bottle or $360 a case they're cheaper than a lot of the CdePs I can get ($40+) and I suppose the aging potential is still there. Any comments?
I have to say the bottle of 1994 CDP Beaucastel was not what I was hoping for; it seemed to have more acid than normal and was alittle flat on the palate. The nose was of strawberry fruit and saddle soap with raw rack of lamb notes.? (GAME). The wine seems to me that Beaucastel missed the mark and produced a wine of lack luster appeal. This wine is a drink now as far as I can tell. This wine does not hold a candle to the 90 or the 88.
Just my humble opinion
A lot has been previously said about Brett levels in Beaucastel wines. Sounds like from many comments here and from Board-O's link that it may be the culprit. Terms like the following are clues:

old bandages
grilled meat
raw rack of lamb

For whatever it is worth, Parker recently downgraded the wine from 93 to 90 points and wrote:

"The 1994 seems less successful than my early tastings indicated. The high percentage of Mourvedre (40% versus the normal 30%) has given it an earthy, leathery character with hints of mushrooms and tree bark. Although dense and chewy, it remains tannic and firm. It will keep for two decades, but it is not a hedonistic example and how much pleasure it will provide remains to be seen."


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