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Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2017

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

Dégusté juste avant la mise en bouteille. Bouquet rôti, de petits fruits noirs, de violette. Millésime très élégant, longiligne, à la structure imposante. Beaucoup d’allure.

The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it’s not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.

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.

"A dark and winey style, offering a mix of plum, black currant and black cherry notes, infused with black tea, fruitcake and anise accents. Solidly built, vibrant and energetic from start to finish, this carries copious fruit easily through the lengthy finish. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. Best from 2020 through 2040."

Dark bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruit liqueur, incense, smoked meat and candied lavender qualities on the deeply perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that tighten up and turn livelier with air. Shows plenty of energy for a hot-vintage wine and finishes impressively long and chewy, with mounting tannins and repeating smoke and floral notes.