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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 2016

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


The 500-case production of this wine comes from a three-hectare parcel of Roussanne planted in 1909. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes takes the quality of Beaucastel's traditional white and raises it another level. Caramelized pineapple sounds sweet and cloying, but it isn't when it's backed by amazing texture, citrus zest and a briny sensation on the never-ending finish. As this was the last wine of my visit to the estate, I found it especially hard to spit out.

Also bottled two weeks ago, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is utterly killer and is as good as it gets. Huge notes of orange blossom, peach, tangerine, honeysuckle, and caramelized citrus flow from this insanely good, unctuous, heavenly textured white that possesses full-bodied richness and power, yet stays light, graceful and perfectly balanced on the palate. Drink bottles anytime over the coming 4-6 years, or cellar for a decade or more. Robert Parker once famously called this the Montrachet of the Rhône, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Don’t miss this wine!

100 year old Roussanne vines giving very small yields and harvested two weeks after the younger vines. It’s deeply vinous, with aromas of quince, pineapple and apricot. Very full-bodied, it is languorous and opulent in texture. It glides across the palate, down the throat and lingers on. The oak is used well, adding rather than detracting. A very powerful, regal wine.

Le Vieilles Vignes continue de nous impressionner : il s’affine et gagne en profondeur avec le temps. Une des plus jolies définitions de Roussanne dans le Rhône méridional. Une belle maturité qui reflète le cépage sans accuser les notes trop mûres si souvent rencontrées dans le secteur de Châteauneuf. Nous sommes impressionnés par la maîtrise de la maturité que ce vin profond révèle. La bouche se montre de belle envergure, ample et racée, avec une belle allonge.