Friday, June 20, 2008

Beaucastel tasting

Chateau de Beaucastel is one of the best wineries in Chateauneuf du Pape. Pierre Perrin, Beaucastel's wine maker and 5th generation owner of the winery hosted an excellent tasting this Wednesday. It was a pleasure to see how passionate Pierre is about his wines and wine making tradition of his family. Chateau de Beaucastel have been producing organic wines since 1956, but don't brand their wines as such. They try to create wines with a unique signature "I want to sign the wine like Picasso" - is the exact quote. In each year they try to make the best wines for that vintage and not replicate last year's taste. From what we have tasted - it's a complete success. The wines all share a common theme: balanced, food friendly, complex and interesting.

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2006
Light to straw color, medium bodied and refreshing wine. Opens with Muscat nuts, smoke, honey, apricots and melon balanced with very good acidity. Good finish. Exceptional 90.

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes 2006
Almost Yellow straw color, full bodied and balanced. This is one of the best whites I've had in the last year (including the excellent 2006 vintage in Austria). Smooth, round and creamy (positively) wine. With Caramel, ripe peaches, minerals all going to a Loooong finish. Outstanding 96

Perrin & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape Le Sinards 2006
This wine gets its grapes from the young vines of Beaucastel. Not destined for long term cellaring, but still a good wine. Medium bodied and medium to light color. Raspberries, minerals, unripe plums. Nice finish. Still too tannic - keep it for 1-2 years. Very Good 86

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 2005
This wine showed what older vines and more traditional wine making (old oak, huge - 4000 Lt. barrels) can create. Medium bodied with a red garnet color. Balanced, elegant and very drinkable right now, but will surly be even greater and more complex in years from now. Mostly delicate aromas of cassis, plums, lavender. A bit meaty aroma on the edges. Just the right amount of acidity. A very long and wonderful finish. Extraordinary 95

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 2001
Needs more time to balance - but what a wine! Medium bodied with a brick/garnet color. Meaty, leather, plums, blackberries, cherries and a balancing acidity. After some time in the glass it gets really smooth. Nice, long finish. Extraordinary 93

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 1998
This is a love or hate wine - I've heard both opinions around. I loved it! The color shows some age with dominating brick color. The aroma opens with a sweet caramel component along with cherries and leather. very good, long sweet finish. Exceptional 92

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 1994
This is on the spot for current drinking. Ripe plums, a bit truffles, green herbal component along with delicate leather and meaty aromas. Still has some tannins for the next couple of years. Very good finish. Exceptional 91

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 1989
Decanted for 3 hours. Light brick color. A complex and interesting wine which made me hate myself for not purchasing it when it was possible. Opens with meaty flavors, plums, olives, minerals, perfume and Provencal herbs. Amazing long finish.
Incredible 97

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin 2005
Almost impenetrable red garnet. Full, almost chewy body. An almost never ending array of aromas: red plums, blackberries, nuts, olives & herbs. Right now its very tannic and alcoholic - give it at least 15 years to soften (Pierre claims that the 1989 is not really ready yet...). Complex, long finish.
Incredible 98