Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault et al
75cl * Organic * 14.5% ABV * Rhone, France
When one hears 'Chateauneuf-du-Pape', one thinks of full-bodied, earthy wines with spice and weight - and yet so often we're disappointed. Not so with Chateau de Beaucastel, a family-run estate dating back to the sixteenth century at the very northern edge of the Chateauneuf appellation. Why is that important? Well, it's the part of the region most exposed to the Mistral winds, which they liken to 'nature's hairdryer', effortlessly drying the fruit after summer showers, avoiding unhealthy mildew and rot, and blowing off bugs and grubs.
The Perrin family, who have owned the chateau for coming onto five generations now, are passionate about their winemaking, so much so that each of the 13 grape varieties that make up CNDP are vinified separately, before being blended together according to the family's closely guarded secret recipe. What we can tell you, though, is that the Grenache and Cinsault provide colour, warmth, roundness while the Mourvedre, Syrah, Muscardin and Vaccarese give the wine its structure and aging ability. Counoise and Picpoul provide that final oomph to the body and palate. Once blended, the wine spends a year in oak barrel and then a further year in bottle before leaving the winery.
Magnificent deep-red colour with purple undertones. Both subtle and of great aromatic richness, the nose reveals a very nice balance between the maturity and freshness of the fruit and superb notes of fresh fruit and spices. Very elegant, ample and silky on the palate, it opens up with a spicy attack with aromas of “garrigue” then reveals, as on the nose, a perfect balance between its beautiful tannic richness and its delicate roundness. The very long finish suggests great potential.
Lovely with venison wellington with mashed potato, swede and parsnip. Decant for 1 hour before serving at 15°C.
Drinking Window: Now - 2040
"A deep, quite herbal expression, with liquorice and crushed blueberries to the cassis fruit. Full-bodied, powerfully fruited, dense and deep. Really mouthcoating, intense fruit. The tannins are ripe, fine and plentiful, all saturated in blackberry juice on a long finish. Certainly one of the more successful Châteauneufs this year. Will age well. A Mourvèdre-led expression of Beaucastel - it contains more than usual, at least 35% and probably more. Grenache and Cinsault fermented in cement, Syrah and Mourvèdre fermented in foudre." 96 points, Decanter Magazine (Sep 2022)
"Very inviting nose, liquorice, dark crushed cassis, leather, strawberry jam – earthy dark spice. A supple and ripe palate with good freshness and acidity throughout. Tight and fine, firm tannins, dark fruits, liquorice, thyme and a ripe savoury-tinged finish. Wonderful. 2028-2040." 17.5 points, Alistair Cooper MW, jancisrobinson.com (October 2022)