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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2013

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

Looking at the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape, I was able to taste the individual components, with each showing fantastic depth and richness. The Mourvedre is the star of the show and had blockbuster levels of concentration and depth, with perfectly ripe tannin. While certainly not a Grenache year, even this variety showed well here, and it’s obvious that the multiple passes through the vineyard during harvest and then multiple sorts in the winery paid off. This should come together beautifully in bottle and be one of the vintage's strongest efforts.

While not the most structured vintage of Beaucastel, this is a full-bodied, creamy textured rendering of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Finely detailed notes of plum, thyme and leather mark the nose, while the flavors are ripe almost to the point of jamminess.

Opaque ruby. Deep-pitched black and blue fruit liqueur aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice and cola. Broad, sweet and fleshy, offering concentrated blackberry and boysenberry flavors enlivened by juicy acidity and a peppery spice nuance. Tightens up slowly on the youthfully tannic, focused finish, which clings with resonating spiciness and outstanding tenacity.

Another stunner from Famille Perrin. Bright, fresh and elegant with re ned red berry fruit and clean avors of ripe plum and soft spice; shows great aging potential. 30% Grenache, 30% Mouvèdre, 10% Counoise, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, with others.

Quite a mouthful of Beaucastel with more warm, figgy fruit than memory generally serves. The surfeited structure can’t be denied but the advanced, occupied territory reminds of 1988. This ’13 may be viewed as acting with similar haste when it will have reached the age of 25, in earth-crusted caramel and sweet fruit scooped from a forest floor. Up until five years before then it will always have ripe red berries, spice accents, anise and the veritable design of garrigue.

nky ruby. Expressive aromas of cherry, black raspberry, licorice and smoky minerals, with a dark chocolate element building slowly. Then tightly wound and focused on the palate, offering intense flavors of dark berries, bitter cherry and candied flowers. Powerful but at the same time quite elegant, finishing with wonderful clarity and length and smooth tannins.

We also tasted a few components of the 2013, still separate. The Grenache shows a light red berry character, with bouncy acidity and a red cherry and pomegranate core that lacks a little stuffing (typically of Grenache in 2013). The Syrah is very vivid though, with pastis and violet notes and lots of flesh. The Mourvèdre is remarkably sleek, rather than it's usual leathery self, with Turkish coffee aroma and beautiful cassis fruit. A cask with Muscardin, Terret, Vaccarèse and Bourboulenc blended together is very peppery, with lots of bay and leather notes—it's the spice to season the blend with.