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Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet Rouge

AOC Côtes du Rhône, Vallée du Rhône, France

This is juicy and still a bit compact, with a mix of blackberry, plum and blueberry notes laced with licorice snap and backed by a long, spice-infused finish. A tarry hint lurks as well. Should stretch out after brief cellaring.

The real steal, however, is the 2010 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet red (an identical blend), which has really put on some weight and intensity since I tasted it last year. The wine displays oodles of licorice, black currant and black cherry liqueur with hints of damp forest floor and truffle. Sweet tannin, decent acidity and nice, attractive density make for an outstanding Cotes du Rhone.

Vivid ruby. High-pitched aromas of red fruits, rose, lavender and Asian spices. Juicy and focused on entry, then deeper and broader across the mid-palate, displaying intense black raspberry and cherry compote flavors. Shows impressive energy on the spicy finish, which features a sexy floral quality.

Meaty and even a hint of fishiness on the nose. Very lively. Sinewy, even a little lacking flesh! But certainly refreshing, and not heavy.