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Old and older Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2009 February 9

Another fine wine evening as you can see from Steve’s photo, but the highlight of the evening were these wines:

1953 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape

It’s not everyday that I get to taste a 56 year old wine.  I have to admit that this is probably one of the oldest wines I’ve ever tasted and I’m thankful to my friend Steve for his kind hospitality with such a generous cellar call. Cloudy brick red in color with amber edges. Nose of toast and smoked meats. Nice dark cherry, raspberry and meaty palette. Smooth long finish. Initial TCA aromas after opening were a bit foreboding but were completely gone after an hour in the decanter. It opened up even further after a couple more hours. I’m disappointed that it was almost gone by then because it was just getting good. Impressive and delicious.
My rating: 92

1989 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

A side-by-side comparison with the 1953 Clos St. Jean was a real treat. Dark brick red colors with violet edges. Crisp red berry nose with lots of smoked meats and leather bordering on barnyard. Incredibly complex layers of ripe cherries, spice and gamey meat. Nice long finish with soft tannins and nicely balanced acidity. This would easily have been the wine of the evening if not for the ’53. Still, it was a better overall wine and still holding up quite well. It was easy to see why this was the Wine of the Year for 1991.
My rating: 95 

Copyright © 2009, Eric Hwang and BricksOfWine. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eric Hwang and BricksOfWine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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