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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2011

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

2011 is a voluptuous wine, with a beautiful shimmering colour. Very nice fruity nose dominated by cherries. On the palate this wine starts off with a powerful but soft attack, revealing ample fruity notes.

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.

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.

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.