Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2011

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

Very sleek and refined despite the obvious heft, featuring steeped red and black currant fruit studded with bergamot, blood orange, sweet tobacco and alder notes. The long, racy finish has a lovely echo of singed mesquite. Best from 2015 through 2027

Indissociable de l’histoire de l’appellation, le Château de Beaucastel atteint une expression racée, aux tannins profonds et à la longueur interminable. Idéal pour vos fêtes de fin d’année.

Reminiscent of a lighter weight 2009, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape offers up a sweet bouquet of spiced black cherries, plum, truffle, saddle leather and underbrush. Coming from tiny yields (which were down 50% from 2010), this medium to full-bodied 2011 is gorgeously textured and has solid mid-palate depth, terrific purity of fruit and ripe tannin. Relatively approachable and enjoyable even now, it should nevertheless evolve gracefully for 15-20 years.

Une Famille redécouvre sa maison à la fin des vacances de printemps. La robe est grenat sombre. Le bouquet est encore légèrement sucré, plein des souvenirs d'exhalaisons minérales, de transats taillés dans le chêne et d'océans de cerises Burlat. Sur le palais, de modernes parfums de bonbons accompagnés de tanins moyennement corsés, songent aux fragrances d'herbes de Provence et d'encens qu'ils ont laissées en rétro-olfaction. La finale est riche, sans excés. Du poivre, du cassis et des bleuets l'accueillent avec bienveillance. L'un des "Grand Cru" de l'appellation.

The 2011 Beaucastel, which is an identical blend, is the result of an incredibly severe triage because of the irregularity of ripening essentially across all varieties in 2011. The wine displays some tannin, is medium to full-bodied, with lots of Provencal herbs, pepper, incense, blueberry and black currant fruit. It seemed to me that the Mourvedre was showing through strongly when I tasted it. The wine is long, rich, not one of the great vintages by any means, but still very well-made. This wine will need 2-3 years of cellaring and drink well for 15 or more.

Inky ruby. Powerful, expressive aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry and licorice, with suave anise and floral overtones. Juicy and precise, with tangy red and dark berry flavors, supple texture and a strong mineral note on the back. Spicy on the finish, which shows very good focus and length. This is impressively elegant and should be drinkable on the young side.

Almost black! Complex nose with the merest hint of BandAid – call the Brett police! Subtle, layered flavours with some polished tannins. Lots of acidity. Very youthful. Tarry finish. Not much supple fruit. Demanding at this stage.