Château de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vallée du Rhône, Perrin & Fils, vin, France
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Beaucastel Red

The result of all the efforts and innovations of three generations of the Perrin family is evident when one has the pleasure of tasting a good vintage of Château de Beaucastel at its peak. If one word could describe the red wines of Beaucastel it would be "pure": because these wines are the natural expression of the place and the grapes from which they come.

In this case the vineyard is a patchwork of the 13 permitted grape varieties It covers 70 hectares in all. The soil is the same porous, aerated blanket of Alpine diluvium (with rounded stones) over a base of Miocene marine limestone that exists elsewhere on the estate. The vines are on average 50 years old and yields are never more than 30 hectolitres per hectare and often much less. This is a vibrant and healthy vineyard due to years of organic cultivation.

The red wine of Beaucastel, as is the Coudoulet de Beaucastel, is structured, intense yet lean, partially thanks to the large percentage of Mourvedre - about 30% - in the final blend. Its austere tannic backbone and resistance to oxidation help Beaucastel age gracefully. Grenache (30%) contributes a warming sensation of ripe fruit and a velvety feeling in the mouth. Syrah at 10%, and Muscardin and Vaccarese with around 5% each, add colour and spicy aromas while increasing the wines ageing potential. 5% of Cinsault is added for softness and its special bouquet. The remainder is made up of small quantities of the seven other varieties allowed in Châteauneuf du Pape. They add that extra note of graceful complexity which make Château de Beaucastel such an extraordinary wine. Once the flash heating method, as described on the first page of the brochure, has been accomplished, Beaucastel Rouge follows a more or less classic vinification. Most of the varieties are fermented separately until the malo-lactic fermentation is completed, at which point they are blended after comprehensive tastings.

The young wine then matures in large oak barrels of 40 hl /1000 gal. for about 12 months. Fining is carried out with egg whites, and then the wine is bottled and left to age one more year in Beaucastel’s cellars before being offered for sale.


Production area
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, between Orange and Avignon. There are 70 hectares /140 acres of Chateau de Beaucastel red.

Geology
Miocene marine molasses overlaid with alpine diluvium (large round pebbles known locally as ''galets'').

Grape varieties
The thirteen grape varieties of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation with a strong percentage of Mourvèdre and Grenache (30% each), Syrah 10%, Counoise 10% Cinsault 5% and the rest divided up amongst the remaining grape varieties: Vaccarèse, Terret noir, Muscardin, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne.

The Grenache and the Cinsault give the wine its colour, intensity and softness. The Mourvèdre, Syrah, Muscardin and Vaccarèse give the wine its renowned ageing potential and dark, classic character. The Counoise, Picpoul and other varieties provide freshness, fragrance and aromatic quality.


Vinification
Hand picking, then sorting of grapes upon arrival at the cellar. The skins of the grapes are heated briefly to 80 °C / 176 °F and then cooled to 20 °C /6O °F before the bunches drop into enamel tiled vats for twelve days' maceration. The free-run juice is then drained off and the must in the vat pressed in a pneumatic wine-press.

Maturing
The various grape varieties, most of which have been vinified separately, are blended after malo-lactic fermentation following a series of tastings. The resulting wine is then matured for one year in large oak barrels and then bottled after fining with egg whites. The wine is then matured in bottles for another year before release.

Tasting notes
Colour: very dark red.
Nose: red fruits, leather, truffles, musk.
Palate: spices, pepper, liquorice.

To serve
Serve at 15 °C / 59 °F in fine glasses.


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