Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1990-98 tasting

Hi all,

in two weeks a comprehensive tasting of CdP vintages 1990 & 1998 will take place in Graz/Austria (booked out since Christmas!)
Although I have already made my definitive selection and even my schedule for the tasting, I would be interested in how members of this board would set up this event.

There will be 16 participants (incl. some couples).
There should be 6 flights of 4 wines each.
There will be a (matching!) 4 course dinner in between: Amuse gueule, 1st course, main course, cheese, dessert
The tasting starts at 7 p.m. – all should be finished latest at 11 p.m. for the kitchen.

The available wines (not subject to change) in alphabetical order:

Beaucastel 1990, 1998
Beaucastel Jacques Perrin 1990, 1998
Beaurenard Boisrenard 1998
Bonneau Celestins 1990, 1998
Bonneau Cuvee Speciale 1990, 1998
Bois de Boursan Felix 1998
Bosquet des Papes Chantemerle 1990
Les Cailloux Centenaire 1990, 1998
Chapoutier Barbe Rac 1990, 1998
Clos des Papes 1990 Fonsalette (Rayas) 1990
Janasse Vieilles Vignes 1998
Janasse Chaupin 1998
Ch. Rayas 1990, 1998
Marcoux Vieilles Vignes 1990, 1998
Mordoree Reine des Bois 1998
Pegau Reservée 1990
Pegau Da Capo 1998
Roger Sabon Secret 1998
Vieux Telegraph 1998
(+ some sweet wines for the dessert)

How would YOU schedule this tasting, reg. wines, flights and time table.
I´m curious …

Sure I will post a report here later.


Wow, wow, wow …
82 views so far and not a single suggestion !?
Is this an indication of the competence of this board. [scratch.gif]
I hope not.


Nice line-up. I would taste the 1998’s before the meal-break, the 1990’s after.
I would bag them and taste them blind.
FWIW, I prefer flights of three as I believe four wines is a lot to evaluate at once.

I expect you are looking for a particular line-up suggestion but my preference for blind
tasting makes that unnecessary. It will also stimulate more discussion and focus on the

Sounds like it will be fun. Enjoy !

Pat De Marco

I like the idea of splitting the tasting into the '98s before the meal and the '90s with the meal, but with a twist.

Taste the '98 super-cuvees at the end with the cheese. I think the '98 presitge wines will so dominate the regular bottlings as to make them seem wrongly unimpressive. I would also serve the prestige '90s as their own flight for the same reason.

Pat, Davis,
thanks for the response.

I know all the wines, and many of them quite well.

1st: the tasting is blind for all (for me only half since I put together the flights) … and the wines will be in decanters.

2nd: I´m definitely sure that it´s not always that easy to distinguish between the 1990s and the 1998. Therefore I will not separate them but mix the flights … also to compare the two vintages from the same producer (not always) - or to create interesting combinations.

3rd: Flights of 3 wines means 8 flights … that would take until midnight …
The advantage of 4 wines in each flight is that you can compare better - and that you can ignore a wine quickly if you don´t like it …and you still got 3 …


In these types of tastings, I like to group the wines based upon how I believe the flights will provide insights into the wines we’re drinking. Namely, what are the vintage characteristics, what are the producer characteristics and in this case, what is the differentiation between the cuvee types (base vs reserve/special etc…). As you have noted that you’ve had most of the wines previously, I think you should try to decide how to break the wines into groupings that foment those ideas and discussion points.

Myself personally, I’d like to see how certain wines have evolved and what the difference between vintage characteristic.

In this particular case, I would break the wines into flights of 4 or 5 at most and then you can really examine the differences between 90 Pegau, Clos des Papes and Beaucastel etc…


that is exactly what I´d like to do.

I´m looking for the most interesting combinations in each flight … e.g. Grenache-dominated wines of both vintages … or wines with a certain amount of new wood … or the most traditional producers etc.

To do first all 1990s and then all 1998 (or the other way round) would compromize one vintage or another (depending on how you see it) …

I bet that many participants will not always be able to tell the vintage correctly … neener

I would keep the producers paired so you were always trying 90 and 98 of each together. Then group them stylistically into a progression finishish with the heaviest wines.

Nick, that´s what I´m intending to do partially … however there are some wines not yet existing in 1990 (Mordorée for instance) - and some that were not top in 1998 … [shrug.gif]


I just received an e-mail with a cancellation of participation, because the fee for CdP is too high for him, and he has several wines in his cellar though !!!
No problem, there are 2 on the waiting list, but I wonder:

is 290 € including the restaurant fees (but excluding the dinner) ist too much for 28 TOP-CdPs 1990/1998 ?
4 Bonneau (2 Celestins and 2 CSpeciale)
4 Beaucastel (2 JP)
2 Marcoux VV
Pegau DC
2 Cailloux Centenaire
and so on …


Am I nuts?

Yesterday by coincidence I received an email with an offer for 1990 Jacques Perrin: 590 € !

What do you think?
Would you ever invite this guy once again for a tasting?

You wrote that he said it was too much for HIM.

Maybe the guy was short USD and long Euro’s the past month.

He gave you 10 days notice and you have two on the waiting list.

Don’t see what the big deal is.

no big deal, but he knew already since autumn 2009 that it will be “around 300 Euro” … so changing his mind because of “price” is a bit “odd” …