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December 11, 2014

Beaucastel CNDP Rouge and Blanc 2013

Beaucastel-290x148

Following on from our 2013 release of Vieux Telegraphe we are delighted to offer 6x75cl cases of the superb Chateau Beaucastel. Beaucastel is the most famous wine from Chateauneuf de Pape and one of the oldest estates, dating back to 1549. Beaucastel’s red and white are both recognised the world over as truly great, perennially offering incredible value for a wine of this class, capable of ageing and improving for decades in bottle.The red’s supple tannin and concentration of fruit means it can be enjoyed in its youth. The white sings from the bottle from day one, gaining weight and complexity with age. Beaucastel red and white have a large and very loyal global following, due to their outstanding quality and value, £35 for the red and £38 for the blanc per bottle. We are offering both en primeur nine months before becoming physical at a discount to older vintages, the 2012 rouge and blanc trade today at £240 per six bottles.

The 2013 vintage in the Chateauneuf du Pape was saved from many of the climatic issues that tormented other regions in France, the region perennially experiences warm weather. The vintage was marked by late maturity, one of the latest harvests in 25 years. Yields were low, as was production and as a result quality is good, as such the market expects demand to be high.

Beaucastel rouge is a heady mix of the famous CNDP grapes, 30% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and 5% Cinsault, balanced with other varietals. Their Mourvedre is grown on almost one third of their land and is arguably the best example of this grape anywhere in the world. The vineyard is situated at the north-eastern end of the appellation, a short walk from the famous town of Orange. The Estate has remarkable terroir, abounded by rock (Galets) on the surface, the subsoil contains an abundance of clay, which perfectly retains the vines’ water supply during the long hot summer days. There are 8,000 cases of the Beaucastel rouge produced each year, in 2013 production has fallen, the quality persists.

White Chateauneuf du Pape wines are a rarity, making up only 10% of total production and Beaucastel produces two of the greatest white wines within CNDP: Beaucastel Blanc and Roussanne Vieilles Vignes. While the latter is comprised of 100% Roussanne, the Blanc is a blend of 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc from vines between 10 and 40 years old. Roussanne adds a honeyed richness with aromas and flavours of white flowers and stone fruits while the Grenache Blanc adds crisp acidity, minerality, and notes of apple and mandarin orange. Together, the two demonstrate the finest expressions of white Rhone grapes, with the zestiness of the Grenache Blanc balancing the full-bodied, honeysuckle, waxy apricots and peaches of the Roussanne.  Only 1,800 cases of the Beaucastel Blanc are produced each year.

The Estate was transformed in 1903 by a young chemical engineer named Pierre Perrin, who with his father-in-law returned it to past glories after the region was atrophied by phylloxera. Jacques Perrin drove it forward in the 1950s by introducing new technologies and innovations. Today the vineyard continues to be treated with wonderful care: minimal sulphur is permitted and no chemical fertilizers or weed killers are used. They vinify in large old barrels (foudres) and only the Syrah is exposed to new oak. The Estate has a bright future as Jacques’ sons Jean-Pierre Perrin and François Perrin continue to balance tradition with innovation.

Beaucastel CNDP Rouge, 2013 - £210, 6x75cl, 92-95 Pts Wine Advocate
Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck – 92-95 Points
Looking at the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape, I was able to taste the individual components, with each showing fantastic depth and richness. The Mourvedre is the star of the show and had blockbuster levels of concentration and depth, with perfectly ripe tannin. While certainly not a Grenache year, even this variety showed well here, and it’s obvious that the multiple passes through the vineyard during harvest and then multiple sorts in the winery paid off. This should come together beautifully in bottle and be one of the vintage’s strongest efforts. Drink 2018 -2032 

Beaucastel CNDP Blanc, 2013 - £230, 6x75cl, 94 Pts Wine Advocate
Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points
Reminding me of the 2012, the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, which was just bottled two weeks ago, has fabulous richness and depth in its honeysuckle, tangerine, white flowers and buttered almond-like aromas and flavors. It too shows the freshness and purity of the vintage, with integrated, yet juicy acidity, good concentration and serious length. It will be better in another year or so, drink nicely for 2-4 years, and then all bets are off. At that point, it’s best to cellar for a decade. Drink 2014 -2024 

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