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Chateau de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015-2018

"One of the reference point estate in the Rhône Valley, as well as the entire wine world, is that of the Perrin Family’s Château de Beaucastel. Located in the northern, cooler part of the appellation, the estate covers roughly 100 hectares of vines from which they produce a red and white Côtes Du Rhône (from vines just outside the appellation), two Châteauneuf du Pape whites, and two Châteauneuf du Pape reds. Looking at the Châteauneuf du Papes, both whites are Roussanne dominated, with the Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc being roughly 80+% Roussanne, and the Roussanne Vieilles Vignes cuvée being 100% Roussanne. The Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is one of the greatest whites made in the world in just about every vintage and while it drinks beautifully young (a recent bottle of the 2014 was off the charts) it also has the capacity to evolve for decades. As to the reds, the classic cuvée comes all from vines around the estate and is unique for its high Mourvèdre content, with the blend normally in the realm of 35% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and the rest Syrah, Counoise, and other permitted varieties. Aging occurs in a mix of barrels and foudre. The flagship Hommage A Jacques Perrin cuvée comes primarily from a single parcel of 90+-year-old Mourvèdre vines located just behind the estate. Raised in foudre, it’s a powerful, singular, exotic expression of this variety, and there’s no one out there that does it better."
— Jeb Dunnuck

"Marc Perrin told me that he feels blessed that his family’s 100 acres of vines are planted to such a diverse array of varieties, especially Mourvèdre, since so many recent vintages have suffered short Grenache crops and many of his neighbors’ production levels have been way off in years like 2014 and 2013. In those vintages spring frosts and hail caused often sever damage to the early-ripening Grenache fruit so it was a big advantage to have later-ripening varieties to compensate for a smaller-than-normal harvest, he told me. Mourvèdre is also a great variety to use to bring structure to Châteauneuf-du-Papes made in hot vintages, when the Grenache’s ripeness can sore and the resulting wines run the risk of coming off flabby. That’s clearly the case with the 2015s here as the wines possess more firmness than other examples from the region, which means that they should age very well, which is always a hallmark of this iconic estate. The 1989, from another hot vintage, like 2015, is drinking fabulously right now, and it shows no sign of falling apart any time soon."
— Josh Raynolds, Vinous, March 2017

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