The vintage :
The 2016 vintage in the Southern Rhone valley is exceptional, both in terms of quality and quantity, thanks to idyllic weather conditions that protected the region from climatic accidents throughout the whole year.
The 30 hectares of Coudoulet are located just east of the vineyard of Beaucastel on the other side of the A7 motorway. For reasons that have now become obvious, Coudoulet is often considered the baby Beaucastel. The Coudoulet soil has many similarities to that of Beaucastel. It is made out of Molasse seabed covered by diluvial alpine deposits. These pebbles called “Galets Roulés” play a big role: They take in the heat during the day and let it if off slowly at night which gives a good start to the vines in the Spring.
Within the Côtes du Rhône appellation, adjoining the vines of Château de Beaucastel, between Orange and Avignon. The vineyard of the Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc is 3 hectares (6 acres) in size.
Miocene marine molasses with a layer of alpine diluvium (rounded pepples).
Hand-picked grapes are collected in baskets prior to sorting, pneumatic pressing and clarification of the must, fermentation partially in oak barrels and partially in steel tanks.
For eight months in barrels and steel tanks, before blending and bottling, without cold stabilisation.
Bourboulenc : 30%
Clairette : 10%
Marsanne : 30%
Viognier : 30%
With its golden yellow colour, this Coudoulet white 2016 is characterized by its great freshness. The palate is well-structured; tense and with good balance, marked by notes of lime and lemony flowers. A beautiful vintage with great freshness.
Serve lightly chilled at 10°C in a fine glass.
Leading off the whites and just bottled, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Blanc Coudoulet de Beaucastel offers terrific notes of citrus blossom and apple peel to go with a medium-bodied richness and depth. It's a rich, impressive Côtes du Rhône Blanc I'd happily drink over the coming 2-4 years, and readers interesting in checking out a high-quality white from the Southern Rhône should give this a try.
Jeb dunnuck, Note : 90/100, 2017-10-19