Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2006

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

"Densely layered, showing peach cobbler, graham, heather, chamomile, almond and brioche flavors that glide along the creamy-textured palate, with a long, smoke-tinged finish. Still youthfully raw, so drink the 2005 while you wait for this to come together."

"The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape blanc (80% Roussanne and the rest Marsanne, Picpoul, and Bourboulenc) possesses classic notes of orange marmalade, honeysuckle, and rose petals, a full-bodied, unctuous texture, gorgeous purity and richness, and a stunningly long finish. It can compete with the finest full-throttle, dry whites of France as well as the world. It is difficult to find a better white Chateauneuf du Pape than Beaucastel. Much like their reds, their whites are made in a style that is atypical for the appellation. It is put through full malolactic, and one-third is barrel fermented, then blended with the two-thirds that is aged in tank. Extraordinarily rich and honeyed, it is ideal for drinking with intensely flavored culinary dishes."

"Le Beaucastel blanc classique est doté d'une maturité de fruit avec une vaste palette aromatique, d'une complexité saisissante. salin et nerveux, il offre une chair qui envahit littéralement la bouche."

"Extremely big, round, full and bumptious. Stunningly caressing texture. Lovely honeyed completeness on the nose with a beginning, middle and end to what it delivers on the palate. Lovely, and very persistent. This will presumably have a later, mineral-dominated life from 2014 or 2015 onwards."