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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2012

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

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (aged for eight months in 70% stainless steel tanks and 30% wooden barrels): Brilliant yellow. Powerful aromas of dried citrus and pit fruits, pear skin, melon and honey; smoky mineral and floral nuances build with air. Pliant, palatestaining pit fruit and orchard fruit flavors are lifted and sharpened by a suggestion of bitter citrus pith. Shows impressive depth as well as vivacity, finishing on a very persistent mineral note and with excellent cling.

Exceptionnelle droiture aromatique, précis, long, remarquable potentiel.

Offers a high-pitched feel, with honeysuckle, chamomile and talc notes quickly followed by melon rind, yellow apple and star fruit flavors. The finish shows more depth, featuring hints of brioche and macadamia nut that should develop with time, revealing a buried salted butter accent.

Always one of the leading whites in the appellation, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc checks in as a blend of 80% Roussanne (from 40-year-old vines) and the balance Grenache Blanc, Picardan, Clairette and Bourboulenc. Aged 70% in tank and 30% in barrels, it displays terrific notes of white currants, dried pineapple, flowers and salty minerality that flow to a medium to full-bodied, gorgeously textured and rich palate feel. Despite the richness level, it stays lively and fresh, and should drink nicely for 3-4 years. It will, of course, keep longer, but these are notoriously finicky in how they age.

There seems to be a real elegance to the white wines from this vintage; a brilliant balance between rich fleshy stone fruits and finely poised freshness. The aroma here is restrained, youthful and nervy with a hint of nut, quince and crushed white flowers. The palate is waxy with a nut-oil quality alongside beautiful apricot, white peach and pear culminating in an excellent finish layered with rocky minerals.

A very tropical and broad richness, quince and honeysuckle, lychee, miel confit. A fresh mineral finish gives poise and balance. A splendid effort that is delicious now but will take on some weight over time.

Corps complet pour l'année, arômes encore proches du raisin avec les notes de badiane, d'anis, de fleurs blanches mais aussi de mirabelle et d'abricot, qui font le charme de l'appellation.

Pale gold. Attractively savoury edge (compared with the Coudoulet Blanc that seems so sweet). Very round and beguiling – quite unlike any other wine I can think of. Honey and lime blossom. Rich yet with some lift and refreshment too. Great stuff!

La robe est lune aux reflets jaunes. Le bouquet est paré de riches parfums de chèvrefeuille, de groseilles à maquereau, de camomille et de craie. L'attaque donne une certaine idée de la perfection. Sur de la tarte aux pommes, caramboles et ananas évoluent avec la grâce d'un corps de ballet russe. La rétro-olfaction est un brioche aux noix de Grenoble digne d'un grand pâtissier. La finale est à la fois fleurie et saline, dotée d'une forte personnalité conférée par de persistants arômes de frangipane, de griottes et de noix. Un vin sans défaut, l'accord idéal avec les foies gras poêlés.