The Wait is Over: Château de Beaucastel’s Best Ever?
Posted on: 04/3/18 4:20 PM
This is the one wine that I’ve been asked if we could get more than any other over the past few months. The answer to the question has always been ‘it’s coming’…
Today, I’m thrilled to say it’s here. The short story is that this could be (and is according to the Perrin family) the finest Château de Beaucastel they’ve ever made. More on that below, but whether or not you are a regular buyer of Châteauneuf- take it from me, this is a wine that you are going to want to own.
Not to be lost amongst the excitement, it’s also of course a tremendously exciting vintage of Beaucastel’s consistently brilliant (and brilliant value) Côtes du Rhone ‘Coudoulet’, as well as for the latest vintages of their thrilling whites. For good measure these include the Roussanne Vielles Vignes, given 100 points by Jeb Dunnock, and described by Robert Parker as ‘The Montrachet of the Rhone’.
Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape 2016
“No surprise, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape takes the quality of the Coudoulet and ratchets it up a notch (or two!). I tasted the preliminary blend from foudre and was blown away by its potential. At 35% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault and 10% other permitted varieties, it shows amazing purity in its scents of dark fruit and licorice, richness and weight without any excess of alcohol and a finish that goes on and on.”
95-97 pts., Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate
Coudoulet de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhone 2016, $22 NET
Potentially the best Coudoulet I’ve ever tasted, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel tasted from foudre was singing. Sourced from 80-year-old vines just outside the Châteauneuf boundary, it’s incredibly long and rich for a Côtes du Rhône. Black olives, blackberries and spices fill out the palate of this wine, which must surely be considered a bargain when released.
91-93 pts., Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate
Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2016
The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is utterly killer and as good as it gets. Huge notes of orange blossom, peach, tangerine, honeysuckle, and caramelized citrus flow from this insanely good, unctuous, heavenly textured white that posses full-bodied richness and power, yet stays light, graceful and perfectly balanced on the palate. Drink bottles anytime over the coming 4-6 years, or cellar for a decade or more. Robert Parker once famously called this the MOntrachet of the Rhône and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Don’t miss this wine!”
100 pts., Jeb Dunnock
Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc
“Just sensational, and one of the best examples of this cuvée out there, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape boasts phenomenal notes of orange blossom, salty minerality, caramelized peach, and spice. Rich, full-bodied, unctuous and yet always pure and elegant, it’s one of the finest whites coming from this hallowed appelation.”
95 pts., Jeb Dunnock
More about the wine:
The hype here is understandable. The Rhone, having enjoyed a tremendous 2015 vintage, has against all odds topped it once more in 2016. Jeb Dunnock titled his report “The Elegant and Lively 2015s and the Heavenly 2016s”, and he’s not alone…
“So many of the wines are excellent that it will prove hard to take a misstep…It appears that the early hype is justified.” Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate
“a vintage that can be bought with impunity.” Richard Hemming MW, www.JancisRobinson.com
“Among the standard bearers for one of the best Southern Rhône vintages in recent memory” Matt Walls, Decanter
“According to Michel Chapoutier, 2016 could be better than 1990 in the southern Rhône – praise indeed… Certainly one of the great vintages” Jancis Robinson MW
So, it’s not altogether surprising that some pretty serious reviews have been given out. What’s caused the hype for this particular one is two things. Firstly, other than the ‘Super Cuvees’ (High alcohol 100% Grenache single site wines which I’m not a huge fan of in general) released in tiny quantities at extremely high prices, I would say the Château de Beaucastel seems to be the consensus number one pick as wine of the vintage. Secondly, Marc Perrin at Beaucastel, not necessarily a man given to hyperbole, has described it as “My Greatest Vintage”.
If this sits at tat the top of the Wine Advocate’s banded score, it would indeed be their highest rated Beaucastel of all time. Jancis Robinson has it as #2 of the epic 2016s, half a point behind Château Rayas (the price of which would make your eyes water).
I included the Wine Advocate note on the Beaucastel above, but just to show the consensus on this, I’ve included the other tasting notes from the major publications below. I’d also like to highlight something from Richard Hemming’s report on the 2016s for Jancis Robinson… “Many of these Châteauneufs – in fact, most of them – can be enjoyed immediately on their release. My drink dates indicate this, and I really believe there is no need to wait, with the important proviso that personal taste is a significant factor in such decisions. However, I would defy anyone not to enjoy the 2016s Châteauneufs in their youth, taking full advantage of their delightful succulence.”
“I was able to taste all of the components of the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape and this will unquestionably be another terrific vintage from this estate. All of the samples had inky, purple colors, classic aromatics, good acidity and freshness, and balanced profiles. The Mourvèdre, in particular, was beautiful”
94-97 pts., Jeb Dunnnock
“The nose is tightly wound for now, but shows fresh black fruits and an underlying herbal seam. It’s full-bodied but immediately lifted and fresh on the palate, with powerful fruit and a dense lattice of ripe tannins. It is beautifully textured, very straight in style, with great length and energy. It’s already very well integrated and balanced. Tight, refreshing, mineral and intense. A truly excellent Beaucastel.”
96 pts., Matt Walls, Decanter Magazine
“Some reductive notes on the nose. Floral and rich on the palate with gorgeous spice mix and effortless balance. A great wine, with great pedigree – you can taste this in the sheer elegance and intensity.”
18/20, Richard Hemming MW, www.JancisRobinson.com
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