2017 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rouge, 2017

$79.99

Decanter 95/00: At Beaucastel the Grenache and Cinsault are fermented in cement while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are fermented in foudre. The result features finely pixellated fruits of the forest on the nose, with a full-bodied but mightily fresh and lively palate. The Mourvèdre element is strong this year, bringing vibrancy and power. It’s firmly savoury, very dry and dramatic. A very tannic year has produced a seriously structured Beaucastel for the long term.

Jeb Dunnuck 95/00:  The Château de Beaucastel 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it’s not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.

Wine Spectator 95/00:  A dark and winey style, offering a mix of plum, black currant and black cherry notes, infused with black tea, fruitcake and anise accents. Solidly built, vibrant and energetic from start to finish, this carries copious fruit easily through the lengthy finish.

Wine Advocate 93-95/00:  The full-bodied, dense 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape seems a bit closed at the moment, but Asian five spice powder still brings plenty of complexity and nuance to the rich, dark fruit aromas and flavors.

Vinous 93-94/00:  Dark bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruit liqueur, incense, smoked meat and candied lavender qualities on the deeply perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that tighten up and turn livelier with air. Shows plenty of energy for a hot-vintage wine and finishes impressively long and chewy, with mounting tannins and repeating smoke and floral notes.

Jancis Robinson:  Rich, succulent black fruit with wonderful clarity and effortless depth. A real masterclass of the appellation, with meaty complexity on the palate as well as persistent fragrant spices. Spot-on balance to finish, even though the tannins are still very brash and furry. Certainly needs age, and should be a really wonderful investment.

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Description

Château de Beaucastel traces its existence back to 1549, when Pierre de Beaucastel bought a barn with a plot of land.

When phylloxera struck at the end of the nineteenth century, decimating the planted vines, the owner decided not to replant the vineyards, instead selling the propriety to Pierre Traminer in 1909.

He replanted the vines and passed them on to his son-in-law, Pierre Perrin, and in-turn to Pierre’s son, Jacques Perrin.

The fourth generation of Perrins, François and Jean-Pierre, have been at the helm since 1978 and the fifth generation of Marc, Pierre, Thomas, Cécile, Charles, Mathieu and Thomas, are also involved.

 

Château de Beaucastel covers 130 hectares, of which 100 hectares are planted with vines, including 70% within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape boundary and the remainder classified as Côtes-du-Rhône.

The land has been cultivated organically since 1950 and biodynamically since 1974.

All 13 grape varieties allowed in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation are planted, with Grenache and Mourvedre making up the majority.

‘Châteauneuf-du-Pape gets its complexity from blending the different grape varieties,’ said François Perrin. ‘We could do single varietal [wines] but we will not achieve the same level.’

He believes that each grape brings something particular to the wine.

Grenache accounts for around 30% of the blend and gives the richness, the ripe fruit and the alcohol.
Mourvèdre, also usually 30% of the final wine, provides the tannic backbone.
Syrah represents 10% of the blend and adds colour and violet characters
Cinsault, at 5%, brings freshness and elegance.
The others, Cournoise, Vaccarese, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardin, Bourboulenc and Roussanne, contribute to the complexity and spiciness of the final blend, he said.

Each grape variety is picked and vinified separately, starting with Syrah and finishing with Mourvèdre.

They are blended after malolactic fermentation and aged in large oak barrels for 12 months. For François, ‘oak is like make-up, you just need a little’.

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