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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 2017

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

Roussanne vines more than 100 years old give tiny yields. a kaleidoscope of scents: macadamia, mango, quince and rhubarb. very full bodied but saved from fatness by a gleaming mineral edge and balancing acidity. almost too much this year, it tastes nearly sweet but finishes dry, very long and absurdly opulent. it’s always an attention-grabbing wine, and some will love it all the more for its excess in 2017; some less.

The 500-case production of this wine comes from a three-hectare parcel of Roussanne planted in 1909. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes takes the quality of Beaucastel's traditional white and raises it another level. Caramelized pineapple sounds sweet and cloying, but it isn't when it's backed by amazing texture, citrus zest and a briny sensation on the never-ending finish. As this was the last wine of my visit to the estate, I found it especially hard to spit out.

Sweet-smelling apples and pears, waxy lemon peel and some nicely weighted oak influence. Fleshy depth to the finish. This has concentration and richness with elegance. From a small, around 3-ha parcel of original vines, between 85 and 100-years old. Drink or old.

Last of the whites, huge notes of buttered citrus, exotic flowers, pineapple, honeysuckle, and almond notes all emerge from the 2017 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, a rich, yet fresh, elegant, vibrant barrel sample that does everything right. You can’t find a wine like this anywhere else in the world, and it’s consistently one of the world’s great white wines.