The wine :
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, giving a good start to the vines in the Spring.
The vintage :
An exceptional vintage, very small production because of the impact of 2003 and a lot of mistral for 9 days at 70km/h. High pressure and great weather guaranteed no rainfall.
30 hectares in Côtes du Rhône.
Molasse seabed of the Miocene period covered by diluvial alpine deposits (rolled pebbles), identical to the vineyard of Châteauneuf du Pape.
Each variety is harvested manually and separately, then sorted in the cellar. The harvest is heated to 80°C (skins) and then cooled down to 20°C. Classic maceration in cement tanks during 12 days. Pressing in pneumatic presses. Blending of the different varietals after malolactic fermentation. Ageing in Oak Foudres for 6 months. Bottled after fining with egg white.
Mourvèdre : 30%
Grenache : 30%
Cinsault : 20%
Syrah : 20%
16°C in tasting glasses.
Tasting notes :
Appearance: bright and lively, with great depth.
Nose: red fruits.
Palate: luscious, with hints of thyme.
An outstanding effort is the 2004 Coudoulet Cotes du Rhone (the same blend as other vintages, 30% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Counoise). As I wrote last year, 2004 is a terrific vintage for the estate wines of the Perrin family, and this is a beauty with a gorgeous nose of raspberries, dried herbs, pepper, black cherry, other sweet fruits, and even a hint of truffle. The wine has moderately intense tannins, will probably be better with another 1-2 years of bottle age, and should keep for an uncommonly long time for a Cotes du Rhone, 15 or more years.
Wine Advocate, Note : 90/100, 2007-02-01
Burly, with ferrous and game hints leading the way for lavender, hot stone, tar and black fig fruit flavors. The long, ripe, chewy finish shows a hint of mesquite. This could use a little cellaring. Drink now through 2009. 10,830 cases made.
Wine Spectator, Note : 90/100, 2007-05-15
Good old Coudoulet. Warm, spicy and very charming fruit character, lots of complexity already, and a proudly earthy funk too. Dry, medium bodied, well structured and balanced with just a little warmth on the finish and that generous black fruit mix throughout. One of the Rhone's true bargains, along with Jaboulet's Crozes-Hermitage.
Jancis Robinson, Note : 17/20, 2008-09-13