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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2016

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.