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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2004

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

Rich and creamy, with an array of floral, tropical fruit and mineral notes that race through a long, stony finish. Drink now through 2009. 2,000 cases made.

The 2004 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape blanc is outrageously good, one of the finest examples they have made over recent vintages. I retasted it and it has jumped in stature and score considerably. It is a beauty, with formidable richness, loads of honeysuckle, litchi, and buttery grapefruit, lemon, and tropical fruits in a full-bodied, well-delineated style with terrific acidity and definition. It should drink well for a decade or more.

Very broad and opulent on the nose. Wonderful layers of flavour – one of the fattest Roussannes I have come across. Real wild edges and potential. Very deep flavoured indeed with the oak beautifully managed (ie invisible). 80% Roussanne with Grenache Blanc, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Clairette. 20% in small oak.