The vintage :
An exceptional vintage, very small production because of the impact of 2003 and a lot of mistral for 9 days at 70km/h. High pressure and great weather guaranteed no rainfall.
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.
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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%
Serve lightly chilled at 10°C in a fine glass.
The real winner is the 2004 Coudoulet blanc, which is just stunning and one of the finest examples of Coudoulet blanc I have tasted. It has all the elegance of the 2005 but even more fruit, more exuberance, and more body and length. 2004 was a terrific vintage for white varietals in the Rhone, both north and south, and it comes through in spades in this beautiful effort. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.
Wine Advocate, Note : 90
Herbal, aromatic nose. Quite zesty and a nice, if slightly simple drink for now.
JR, Jancis Robinson, Note : 15,5
Golden honey colour. Quite tense and restrained on the nose. Very complex but not yet singing. Still quite astringent on the finish. Powerful. The Viognier is quite low key – not peachy, but full bodied and intriguing. Organically grown. 30% Viognier, 30% Marsanne, 30% Bourboulenc, 10% Clairette. 20% oaked.
JR, Jancis Robinson, Note : 16
Ripe, with melon and peach fruit, backed by fresh acidity and nicely defined mineral and acacia notes. Nice, stony finish. Drink now. 1,100 cases made. –JM
Wine Spectator, Note : 89