The vintage :
This 2017 vintage will be remembered as the year of all records: the driest year in 30 years, non-interventionist vineyard work, optimal harvest conditions, a very small yield due to climatic hazards, and wines with very rich potential.
Château de Beaucastel has long been regarded as one of the greatest wines in France. It is notorious for its elegance, balance and ageing potential. Beaucastel has an exceptional terroir at the Northern limit of Châteauneuf du Pape, exposed to the Mistral wind. All thirteen varieties of the appellation have been organically grown since the sixties.
Châteauneuf du Pape, between Orange and Avignon, Château de Beaucastel red is a
Château de Beaucastel is 110 hectares, with one single plot at the north of the appellation. The terroir is archetypal of the best terroirs in Châteauneuf: rolled pebbles on the surface, sand, clay and limestone deeper down. The vines are old and have been organically grown for 50 years, which has allowed the roots to grow exceptionally deep.
Beaucastel grows all thirteen grape varieties authorized by the appellation.
Each variety is harvested separately and manually. Vinification takes place in oak fermenters for the reductive varieties (Mourvèdre, Syrah) and in traditional enameled concrete tanks for the Oxidative grapes (all the others). Once the malolactic fermentation is finished, the Famille Perrin blends the different varieties. The blend is then aged in oak Foudres for a year before being bottled.
Grenache : 30%
Mourvèdre : 30%
Syrah : 15%
Counoise : 10%
Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne : 10%
Cinsault : 5%
Tasting notes :
The 2017 vintage has a deep color. The pure and elegant nose suggests cherries, blackcurrants, spices, with floral notes, aromatic herbs (Bayleaf) and chocolate. The mouth is elegant, the tannins are ripe and fine, beautifully dense and concentrated structure, a seductive velvety texture enhanced with finely spicy fruit. The finish is long, held by elegant and coated tannins, harmonious and very persistent (fruit, spice, floral notes). A great vintage!
Around 15°C. If possible, decant the wine.
Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France, Note : 17/20, 2018-09-03
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.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 95-97/100, 2018-08-27
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.
Decanter, Note : 95/100, 2019-03-27
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.
Wine Advocate, Note : 95-97/100, 2018-08-31
"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."
Wine Spectator, Note : 95/100, 2019-11-30
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.
Vinous, Note : 93-94/100, 2019-12-20