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Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet Blanc 2009

AOC Côtes du Rhône, Vallée du Rhône, France

Bright yellow. Intense, spicy aromas of nectarine, lemon curd, white owers and chalky minerals, with a deeper note of honey in the background. Stains the palate with juicy pit and orchard fruit avors and a strong, refreshingly bitter suggestion of citrus marmalade. Finishes with rm mineral bite and excellent clarity. I suspect that this wine will repay at least another few years of cellaring.

Bright yellow. Intense, spicy aromas of nectarine, lemon curd, white flowers and chalky minerals, with a deeper note of honey in the background. Stains the palate with juicy pit and orchard fruit flavors and a strong, refreshingly bitter suggestion of citrus marmalade. Finishes with firm mineral bite and excellent clarity. I suspect that this wine will repay at least another few years of cellaring.

This refreshing, mineral-laced, delicious white is lighter than the 2009 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet Blanc, which continues to “rock and Rhone.” Made from the same blend, this 13,000 bottle cuvee offers up notes of lychee nuts, orange marmalade, honeysuckle, lavender, quince and crushed rocks. Stunningly rich and full-bodied, it is a more viscous style of wine than the 2010. The 2010 will have greater longevity, but the 2009 is sumptuous at present.

A plump style offering buttered almond, melon and creamed peach aromas and flavors. The creamy finish has solid length.

30% each Viognier, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, 10% Clairette. Already a note of honey along with a light floral aroma. Beeswax? Richly textured, dry and there’s a grainy grip creating a clear but light structure. Not yet expressive on the mid palate but there is density and freshness in equal measure. A sour aftertaste adds to the freshness.