The story :
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.
The vintage :
The 2020 vintage in Southern Rhône was favoured by very good weather conditions, it is an optimal vintage, in terms of quality. Not as hot as in 2019, this year was very windy, throughout the growing cycle, with light rainfalls. After a fairly mild winter (one single episode of frost was noted during the night of March 24, but only the early ripening plots were very slightly affected). The spring was radiant, quite warm and very windy, which allowed the soils to preserve their freshness. Flowering began on May 18, under very healthy conditions. The good weather continued in June, July and August, with plenty heat but lower temperatures than in 2019, cool and humid nights and wind which continued to blow, preserving the freshness of the vines and maintaining perfect sanitary conditions for the grapes. The harvest, which was fairly early, therefore began under these very good conditions on August 26 with the white Côtes-du-Rhône and continued until the end of September with the Mourvèdre. September was warm at the beginning of the month and then more temperate, offering idyllic harvest conditions and allowed each plot to be harvested at perfect maturity. The harvest was very healthy with beautiful juicy and very ripe grapes, reasonable alcohol levels, good acidity and already a great balance.
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%
Around 15°C. If possible, decant the wine.
Tasting notes :
Magnificent deep-colour of an intense ruby-red. Typical of Beaucastel, the nose is rich and complex but very fresh, with an opulent aromatic bouquet dominated by notes of fresh fruit and spices. Full,-bodied, soft, eminently silky, this very elegant wine reveals a superb, dense structure on the palate, very fine tannins and gourmet aromas of fresh red fruit, currants and noble spices. The finish has great length, ample and harmonious. A fruity vintage with great aging potential.
"Cask sample, tasted at the domaine. What a stunning nose! Piercingly fresh and expressive notes of violet, garrigue and black-olive tapenade. Defined tannins support the fresh zesty mid palate and is all beautifully encased in a toasty cape of dark fruit."
Note : 18 - 2020-11-27
"Immediately rich and damson-scented with a shot of cassis running through it. A medium-bodied, very classic vintage with good freshness. Has a good sense of weight and drive, not endlessly deep like 2017 or 2016 but perfectly balanced. Should age well into the medium, if not long term, but what's more important is that it's extremely delicious, balanced and fresh. Grenache and Cinsault fermented in cement, Syrah and Mourvèdre fermented in foudre. A little less Syrah this year."
Note : 96/100 - 2020-10-05
"The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape has lots of Mourvèdre character in its bright red and blue fruits as well as spice, pepper, and assorted meaty nuances. With medium to full-bodied richness on the palate, it shows the fresh, elegant, yet still nicely concentrated style of the vintage and is unquestionably another impressive, classic vintage for this cuvée. It should offer some pleasure in its youth as well as evolve for 20+ years in cold cellars."
Note : 93-95/100 - 2021-11-03
"Beaucastel's 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape is shaping up as a blend of 30% each Grenache and Mourvèdre, with 10% each Counoise and Syrah, plus 20% other permitted varieties, including a healthy proportion of white grapes. Complex and red-fruited, with hints of flowers and garrigue, it's expansive and richly textured on the palate, finishing long and silky."
Joe Czerwinski Note : 95-97/100 - 2022-05-05