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 :
2012 is a vintage of contrasts with a very mild start of the year and a freezing month of February.
A fresh and humid spring, followed by a windy and dry month of July and a very hot month of August.
The harvesting conditions were ideal. All these conditions make a great vintage.
Châteauneuf du Pape, between Orange and Avignon, Château de Beaucastel red is a
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 colour.
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.
This is also a great vintage for the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape. Beautifully rich and layered, with fantastic concentration and ultra-fine tannin, it delivers impressive aromas and flavors of dark fruits, licorice, mineral, and plum. Dense and rich, yet with perfect ripeness and bright acidity, it should end up being a classic example of Beaucastel and have two decades of longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Note : 94-96/100, 2013-11-01
Deep, dark and brooding, this 2012 Beaucastel combines fresh hedgerow fruit with liquorice, clove, Middle Eastern spice and gentle cherry liqueur richness. Extremely impressive concentration on the palate, this is fleshy but serious; where the layers of flavour continue to add intrigue and complexity right through the finish. An incredibly hedonistic wine, it will certainly provide ample reward long into the future.
Lay and Wheeler, 2013-10-15
Beautiful fruits, both black and red berry. Garrigue, spice. A super succulent and unctuous wine possessing silky, sensual tannins. Wonderfully textured and incredibly approachable.
Fields Morris Verdin, 2013-10-10
A deep, free and varied nose. This is modern and rock’n’roll. Sensuous fruit and ripe tannins.
Decanter, Note : 95/100, 2014-05-01
What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well.
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Note : 96/100, 2014-10-30
Pre-assemblage. Very dark crimson. Vibrant colour is almost black. Black olives and smoked bacon. Extremely vibrant on the nose too. Luscious ripe fruit on the front palate almost completely covers the tannins. Really quite remarkable. What a different wine from the 2011! Sumptuous.
Jancis Robinson, Note : 18/20
Another stunner from the Perrin family. Deep, earthy ; juicy and bright with racy blueberry, raspberry and cassis ; lush, elegant and seamless with deep spice, licorice and violets ; long and tangy and seductive ; wonderful now ; even better in ten years.
The Tasting Panel, Note : 96/100
Opaque ruby. Potent, mineral-laced raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suave floral and spice qualities, picking up white pepper and cola accents with air. Seamless, round and sweet on the palate, offering intense red berry preserve and floral pastille flavors with a touch of allspice. Finishes sappy and precise, with velvety tannins and a late jolt of cherry compote.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Note : 93/100, 2015-04-01
Warm raspberry and boysenberry confiture aromas and flavors are dominant in this lush, inviting style, but there's plenty of dried star anise, bay leaf, licorice root, worn leather and roasted juniper notes to fill out the chorus. The finish turns youthfully grippy, with a tarry edge holding sway and adding serious length. Try now, but cellar for maximum effect. Best from 2018 through 2030.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Note : 95/100, 2015-10-28
The 2012 is a Châteauneuf-Du-Pape is an absolutely remarkable
showing and one of most compelling wines from the vintage. As this
begins to open it delivers complex aromas of dark cherries and sweet
dark plums, layered with exotic spices, chocolate, licorice, floral, smoke
and hints of leather all coming together in the glass. On the palate this is
richly textured, backed by round tannins which are beautifully polished
with no hard edges. It continues to show remarkable balance with
excellent concentration of dark fruits, spices through the long seductive
finish. This is already outstanding, and should continue to evolve
gracefully for many years to come. The final blend consists of 30%
Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Counoise, 10% Syrah and 5% Cinsault.
Owen Bargreen, International Wine Report , Note : 96/100, 2015-10-08