The vintage :
The 2018 vintage is characterised by exceptional weather conditions. Flowering took place in the best possible conditions, with a historically abundant grape output. A few rainy episodes at the end of the spring complicated things a little with an attack of mildew, but the good weather then settled down until harvest, which took place under idyllic conditions. The wines are beautiful.
Château de Beaucastel has long been regarded as one of the greatest wines in France. It is notorious for its elegance, balance and ageing potential. Beaucastel has an exceptional terroir at the Northern limit of Châteauneuf du Pape, exposed to the Mistral wind. All thirteen varieties of the appellation have been organically grown since the sixties.
Châteauneuf du Pape, between Orange and Avignon, Château de Beaucastel red is a 70-hectare vineyard.
Château de Beaucastel is 110 hectares, with one single plot at the north of the appellation. The terroir is archetypal of the best terroirs in Châteauneuf: rolled pebbles on the surface, sand, clay and limestone deeper down. The vines are old and have been organically grown for 50 years, which has allowed the roots to grow exceptionally deep.
Beaucastel grows all thirteen grape varieties authorized by the appellation.
Each variety is harvested separately and manually. Vinification takes place in oak fermenters for the reductive varieties (Mourvèdre, Syrah) and in traditional enameled concrete tanks for the Oxidative grapes (all the others). Once the malolactic fermentation is finished, the Famille Perrin blends the different varieties. The blend is then aged in oak Foudres for a year before being bottled.
Grenache : 30%
Mourvèdre : 30%
Syrah : 15%
Counoise : 10%
Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne : 10%
Cinsault : 5%
Tasting notes :
The 2018 Château de Beaucastel red has an elegant deep ruby-red colour. The powerful and elegant nose offers superb notes of spices, cherries and cocoa. Elegantly and perfectly balanced, the mouth reveals a beautiful dense structure with fine tannins and complex aromas of red fruit such as blackcurrants and floral notes. The finish is very long and harmonious. A very sophisticated wine, signature of Beaucastel’s style.
Around 15°C. If possible, decant the wine.
The 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape has slightly less Grenache than normal (10%) and has a Mourvèdre-dominated bouquet of blue fruits, crushed violets, charred meats, and a distinct minerality. This was a challenging vintage, particularly for Grenache, yet this estate has produced a brilliant wine that has medium to full body, a layered, deep, concentrated mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a gorgeous finish. As with most 2018s, it’s going to have plenty of upfront appeal, yet I suspect it will also age gracefully.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 94-96+/100, 2019-08-16
Another in a string of top vintages, Beaucastel's 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape was produced from Grenache yields of only eight hectoliters per hectare ("normal" is about 28 hectoliters per hectare, according to Marc Perrin). The final blend I was shown is almost candied in its fruity intensity of raspberries and cherries, yet it has a potent underpinning of more savory elements, like tapenade, grilled meat and dried spices. Full-bodied, with fine, silky tannins, this shows tremendous length, reverberating with hints of crushed stone on the finish.
Wine Advocate, Note : 95-97/100, 2019-08-31
This is a towering, muscular Beaucastel this year with more depth, intensity and black fruit, pushing towards blackcurrant. It’s very dense and extremely concentrated in 2018, more than most but it has the energy and the vibrancy to thrust it front and forward ending with a saline finish. Grenache and Cinsault fermented in cement, Syrah and Mourvèdre fermented in foudre.
Decanter, Note : 96/100, 2019-11-20
Deep ruby-red. Ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur and hints of garrigue, smoked meat and potpourri on the mineral-accented nose. Palate-staining black currant and cherry pie flavors show excellent clarity, chewy texture and a hint of spicecake that builds as the wine opens up. The energetic, impressively long finish repeats the floral and dark fruit notes, and youthfully chewy tannins add shape and solid closing grip.
Vinous, Note : 92-94/100, 2019-12-20