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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2017

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

The Grenache and Cinsault are fermented in cement, while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are in foudre. Finely pixellated fruits of the forest aromas with a full bodied but fresh and lively palate. The Mourvèdre element is strong, bringing vibrancy and power. It’s firmly savoury, very dry and dramatic. A seriously structured Beaucastel for the long term.


A tremendous effort, might Beaucastel's 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape outshine even the 2016? I tasted a preliminary blend that Marc Perrin said represented 80% of the wine, and it showed ridiculous floral and fresh aromas of licorice, lavender and spice, all backed by tremendous fruit that went beyond black and red and into hints of exotic stone fruit. The final blend will likely contain more than 10% Counoise, the highest proportion ever utilized at the estate. It's rich and concentrated yet silky and lithe, with a fantastically long, elegant finish.

Moving to the two Châteauneuf-du-Pape releases and 35% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 12% Counoise, the rest other permitted varieties (Marc calls this a Mourvèdre vintage), the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape sports an inky purple color as well as a textbook Mourvèdre nose of black, black fruits, smoked meats, crushed rocks, charcoal, and pepper. It's deep and full-bodied, with beautiful purity and building structure. Production is down 40%, but this brilliant wine is certainly in the same league as the 2016.