The vintage :
2008 was quite a cool vintage that we qualify as “Northern” style. It is elegant and has a lot of finesse but maintains its Southern flesh.
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.
Under the Chateau Beaucastel label, the 2008 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet blanc (30% Viognier, 30% Bourboulenc, 30% Marsanne, and 10% Clairette) tastes like a premier cru Chablis made in the southern Rhone. Notes of crushed rocks, quince, white currants, and lemon zest are present in this intense, medium-bodied, striking white wine.
One of the great estates of the Rhone Valley, Chateau Beaucastel has been run by several generations of the Perrin family, beginning with the late Jacques Perrin (who died in 1978), then the brothers Jean-Pierre and Francois, and now their sons Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu. Beaucastel has nearly 200 acres in vine in Chateauneuf du Pape, and they have branched out with an impressive operation under the Perrin et Fils label, purchasing grapes and acquiring land (in Vinsobres and Gigondas, for example). Their goal is to become the most recognized name for high quality wines in the southern Rhone. As shrewd consumers know, one of the best values in under $10 a bottle wine is La Vieille Ferme. The Perrin et Fils cuvees include wines made from purchased grapes as well as their new acquisitions in Vinsobres, Gigondas (25 acres), and the Cotes du Rhone village of Cairanne (35 acres). The Perrins enjoyed tremendous success with their 2008 red wines, largely because yields ranged between 18 hectoliters per hectare for Beaucastel, to only 20 hectoliters per hectare for Coudoulet. The mildew that affected everyone was the culprit. The entire family acknowledged there was an extraordinary triage and culling out of the grapes at the sorting tables.
Wine Advocate, Note : 89/100
Slightly herbal citrus. (Very cold sample so may not be showing its full flavours and aromas.) Creamy, bright and lightish with a nutty edge. Correct and refreshing but don’t wait. (JH)
Jancis Robinson, Note : 16/20
Very ripe and lush for the vintage, with delicious Jonagold apple and Cavaillon melon notes caressed by salted butter and macadamia nut notes on the long, creamy finish. Marsanne, Viognier, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Drink now. 600 cases made.
Wine Spectator , Note : 90/100