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 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.
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%
Syrah : 15%
Counoise : 10%
Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne : 10%
Cinsault : 5%
Around 15°C. If possible, decant the wine.
Tasting notes :
The 2016 vintage is a young wine of rare quality! Deep ruby in appearance the nose is very fresh, with notes of chocolate. The mouth is round and reveals ripe fruit, soft tannins and good length. Gorgeous acidity and balance.
Youthfully reticent, but warm and polished in feel, with a large core of cassis, raspberry and cherry puree notes lying in wait for now. Threads of red licorice, warm stone and singed mesquite and cedar emerge steadily through the lengthy finish as the fruit unwinds slowly. Concentrated yet precise. Sock this away in the cellar. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise.
Wine Spectator, Note : 97/100, 2019-09-30
Being bottled the day of my visit, the 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape checks in as a blend of 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties. It offers a ripe, sexy, rounded style that quickly shows more structure, minerality, and tannin with time in the glass. Blackberries, blueberries, smoked earth, violets, and garrigue all give way to a full-bodied, deep, structured Beaucastel that’s going to benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for two decades. It reminds me of the 2001.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 96+/100, 2018-08-27
The nose is tightly wound for now, but shows fresh black fruits and an underlying herbal seam. It’s full-bodied but immediately lifted and fresh on the palate, with powerful fruit and a dense lattice of ripe tannins. It is beautifully textured, very straight in style, with great length and energy. It’s already very well integrated and balanced. Tight, refreshing, mineral and intense. A truly excellent Beaucastel.
Matt Walls, Decanter, Note : 96/100, 2017-10-09
It is easy to get lost in the aromatic complexities here with all the pepper, leaf, wet earth, spice, old wood, dark cherry and plum notes. On the palate, the wine is polished, deep, fresh, concentrated and sweet, Here, there is a purity and symmetry to the wine, along with a clean palate of fruits this year, that makes this a treat to taste, even at this young stage. Marc Perrin thinks this is the best wine produced here since the back to back duo of 1989 and 1990. I am sure this is better than both those previous vintages. It is a stunning wine that deserves your attention to find a bottle and taste it. This should have the ability to age for decades.
Jeff Leve, Note : 98/100
This is a stunning Beaucastel. A classic! Has a superb array of fruit, ranging from red, through to blue, darker purple and black. Nuances of dark, stony minerals, spices, wild flowers and herbs. So fleshy. This has impeccable balance, super-silky tannins and an extraordinarily long finish. This has decades ahead of it. Drink or hold.
James Suckling, Note : 99/100, 2018-08-27
Bouquet, floral, raffiné et complexe. Elégant en bouche, toucher délicat. Plus structuré que le 2015. Style complet et sensuel. Grande finale, en fraîcheur, retour sur la peau de cerise. Un très grand Beaucastel.
Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France, Note : 18,5/20, 2018-09-03
“Some reductive notes on the nose. Floral and rich on the palate with gorgeous spice mix and effortless balance. A great wine, with great pedigree – you can taste this in the sheer elegance and intensity.”
Jancis Robinson, Note : 18/20, 2017-11-22
Deep brilliant crimson. Aromas of ripe red and dark berries, musky flowers and garrigue develop a spicecake nuance as the wine opens up. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry, cherry compote, licorice and lavender pastille flavors that display superb depth as well as unlikely energy. Doesn't let up on the impressively long, spice-tinged finish, which features smoothly interwoven tannins and a lingering cherry note.
Vinous, Note : 95/100, 2019-12-20