The vintage :
The vintage started with a long winter and one of the driest ones in the past years followed by an inexistent Spring. The crop development was very slow due to important climatic variations. The winemakers’ work was, therefore, crucial to get good quality grapes in small quantities. 2013 was a complicated vintage and late but is wonderfully balanced and is very promising.
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.
There are plenty of decent, and far less expansive, Côtes-du-Rhône whites but the Coudoulet is in a different league entirely. It has the intensity of flavor, that sense of finely focused purpose, you find in good C-du-P whites. The pale yellow appearance belies the round, mouth-filling palate of melons, peaches, apricots and honey along with a lively floral freshness.
This is, in fact, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc in all but name.
Forbes, Note : *****, 2015-06-17
Fresh and smooth, juicy and minerally with ripe fruit and good acid structure; long and balanced.
Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel, Note : 90/100, 2015-06-01
The 2013 Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet has a crisp, crunchy feel in its black cherry, pepper and minerallaced style. There’s good richness and depth here, but it’s a more linear, focused and structured Coudoulet that will benefit from a year or two in the cellar.
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Note : 90/100, 2014-10-01