The wine :
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.
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.
30 hectares in Côtes-du-Rhône.
Molasse seabed of the Miocene period covered by diluvial alpine deposits (rolled pebbles), identical to the vineyard of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Each variety is harvested manually and separately, then sorted in the cellar. The harvest is heated to 80°C (skins) and then cooled down to 20°C. Classic maceration occurs in cement tanks for 12 days. Pressing in pneumatic presses. Blending of the different varietals after malolactic fermentation. Ageing in Oak Foudres for 6 months.
Grenache : 30%
Mourvèdre : 30%
Cinsault : 20%
Syrah : 20%
16°C in tasting glasses.
Tasting notes :
A beautiful dark color, the nose shows pretty notes of red fruit, raspberries, wild strawberries, spices and garrigue. The palate is powerful, full, with great finesse. The tannins are velvety and the finish has great length.
Still not yet bottled for my June visit (it was scheduled to be bottled at the end of the month), the final blend of the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel was showing plenty of garrigue and dried-spice notes layered over cherry fruit. Full-bodied, silky textured and long on the finish, it should drink well for a decade or more.
Wine Advocate, Note : 90-92/100, 2019-08-30
Finesse et élégance pour ce super Côtes du Rhône hors norme. A ne rater sous aucun prétexte.
Paris Match, 2019-09-04
Abundant, rich and ripe red fruit with lightly spiced pastry and quite brambly complexity. The palate has a super fleshy, bold and upfront-tannin shape. Fresh and easy. Drink now.
James Suckling, Note : 92/100, 2019-11-10
Juicy and direct, with a core of blackberry and plum fruit, laced with a singed alder thread and backed by a dusting of garrigue on the finish, which reveals a nice tug of dark earth. Should open up with some cellaring. Best from 2020 through 2028.
Wine Spectator, Note : 91/100, 2020-02-29
"Coudoulet de Beaucastel comes from a 75 acre estate vineyard lying adjacent to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, in the Cotes du Rhone AOC. The 2017 is an exceptional wine: complex, rich, and full bodied; indeed, more like Chateauneuf. It
is round, concentrated, a bit tannic, and yet well balanced, with
a very long finish, tasting of blackberry, cassis, black licorice,
pepper, violet, black tea, and herbs. Exceptional; can be aged.
30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, 20% Cinsault.
Aged 6 months in oak casks."
Restaurant Wine, Note : 5/5, 2020-02-02
The 2017 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel is a textbook example of this cuvée, and while it tends to be a relatively expensive Côtes Du Rhône, it merits the price. Complex garrigue, ground pepper, and earthy dark fruits all flow to a medium to full-bodied wine that has a polished, elegant texture as well as the sunny, Provençal style of the vintage. It’s capable of lasting for 15 years or more.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 91/100, 2019-08-16
While full bodied and plump, this perfumed red offers bright, sunny layers of crisp red cherry and plum marked by lovely twists of tart cassis and raspberry. A bright, sunny wine, it finishes on fine, smooth tannins and hints of crushed earth and sage. Immediately approachable the wine should drink well through 2024.
Wine Enthusiast, Note : 92/100, 2020-06-01