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.
The 30 hectares of Coudoulet are located just east of the vineyard of Beaucastel on the other side of the A7 motorway. For reasons that have now become obvious, Coudoulet is often considered the baby Beaucastel. The Coudoulet soil has many similarities to that of Beaucastel. It is made out of Molasse seabed covered by diluvial alpine deposits. These pebbles called “Galets Roulés” play a big role: They take in the heat during the day and let it if off slowly at night which gives a good start to the vines in the Spring.
Within the Côtes du Rhône appellation, adjoining the vines of Château de Beaucastel, between Orange and Avignon. The vineyard of the Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc is 3 hectares (6 acres) in size.
Miocene marine molasses with a layer of alpine diluvium (rounded pepples).
Hand-picked grapes are collected in baskets prior to sorting, pneumatic pressing and clarification of the must, fermentation partially in oak barrels and partially in steel tanks.
For eight months in barrels and steel tanks, before blending and bottling, without cold stabilisation.
Bourboulenc : 30%
Clairette : 10%
Marsanne : 30%
Viognier : 30%
A year in, year out value is the 2017 Cotes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc which is always a blend of Viognier, Marsanne, Clairette, and Bourboulenc. Classic notes of white peaches, flowers, honeysuckle, and almond all emerge from this medium-bodied, supple, textured effort that has plenty of richness and length. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 89-91/100, 2018-08-27