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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 2018

AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vallée du Rhône, France

The 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is all Roussanne and comes from a three-hectare parcel of vines planted in 1901. It offers a heavenly bouquet of white currants, white flowers, honeysuckle, and toasted bread that opens up beautifully with time in the glass. Rich, full-bodied, powerful and concentrated, it stays perfectly balanced on the palate and has that rare sense of richness paired with freshness that’s the hallmark of truly great wines.

The 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes combines luxurious richness—honeyed pineapple lushness—with clean, vibrant zest and brine notes to make for an interesting juxtaposition in its youth that demands time in the cellar to meld together into a harmonious whole. In one of the mysteries of the wine world, it will then stay on that plateau of decadent maturity for a decade or more."

This is deeply golden in colour, with a dizzyingly complex nose encompassing pear, white pepper, lychee, almond nougat, marzipan and white peach. It’s very full-bodied, very rich and unctuous, but not as outrageously opulent and long in flavour as the 2017. The acidity is balanced, if on the low side. From 100+-year-old Roussanne vines giving very small yields, harvested around two weeks after the younger vines.