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Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet Rouge 2006

AOC Côtes du Rhône, Vallée du Rhône, France

A magnificent colour full of luminosity. This 2006 is powerful showing aromas of ripe fruit and chocolate, balanced by an ever-present acidity. Best for cellaring.

Dark and still a bit reticent, with coffee, loam, bittersweet cocoa, iron and melted licorice notes holding the core of plum and black cherry fruit at bay, followed by a long, fine-grained finish. Should cellar nicely, as there's a fine, minerally spine.

The 2006 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet red, a beautiful, delicious, 12,500-case cuvee offering notes of root vegetables interwoven with notions of black cherry jam, licorice, pepper, and Provencal herbs. Deep and medium-bodied, it is ideal for drinking over the next 5-6 years.

I tasted a representative pre-assemblage blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 20% Cinsault last December and was blown away by the value. The wine was due to be bottled in March and released in September 2008. Glowing crimson. Very charming blend with nothing out of place – wonderfully interesting and harmonious – quite a feat! Very, very good.