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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2014

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


Full bodied and rich, this is a big, toasty example of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grilled mango notes lead the way, with vanilla and toast framing tropical and stone fruit on the long, oak-lined finish.

A gorgeously rendered hedonists' delight, with creamed melon, peach, apricot and quince flavors that glide along, supported by subtle ginger, hazelnut and piecrust notes. The long, lush finish has fruit for days. Drink now through 2020.

2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (aged for eight months in 70% stainless steel tanks and 30% in wooden barrels): Limpid yellow. Lively aromas of green apple, white peach and anise are complicated by hints of smoky minerals and pungent flowers that build with air. Juicy, seamless and taut on the palate, offering fresh pear, nectarine and lemon zest flavors that deepen on the back half. The mineral and anise notes repeat on a penetrating finish that lingers with outstanding tenacity.

A good, maybe not great vintage for the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, it’s still outstanding and offers loads of orchard fruits, brioche, crushed rock and buttered citrus in a medium to full-bodied, elegant, pretty style. I’d give bottles a year in the cellar and drink them over the following decade, but a recent retrospective has convinced me you can age these for just about as long as you’d like.