The wine :
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 2011 vintage is a vintage of contrasts. That is to say an unusually hot, dry spring followed by a wet and rainy beginning of July and then an Indian summer lasting until the end of October. Carefully sorting and destemming the harvest allowed for a great vintage, particularly for the late harvest varieties.
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%
Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne : 15%
Counoise : 10%
Syrah : 10%
Cinsault : 5%
Around 15°C. If possible, decant the wine.
Tasting notes :
Nearly black in color.
The nose is very delicate and powerful at the same time, with red fruit, blackcurrants, blackberries, spices, thyme and lavender.
The bouquet is very elegant, rich and round, with figs, cherries, blackcurrants and stewed fruit, all with great acidity. The tannins are present but very delicate.
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.
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Note : 91-93/100
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.
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Note : 94/100, 2013-11-01
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.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Note : 94/100, 2014-05-21
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.
Jancis Robinson, Note : 16,5++/20
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.
Famille Perrin, 2016-09-21