- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
The 16th century Château de Beaucastel was acquired by the Perrin family in the early 1900s. With a global following for their benchmark Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the wines at this historic property are consistently among the finest in the region.
Château de Beaucastel’s vineyards surround the estate, which is near the town of Courthézon in the north-east of the appellation. A quarter of Beaucastel’s 100 hectares lie just beyond the appellation’s boundary and the fruit from the vines grown here makes up their excellent Côtes-du-Rhône: ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’. Its white counterpart, the Coudoulet Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, comes from a three hectare parcel within this vineyard. In addition to prime vineyard holdings, the Perrin family are pioneers of sustainable farming, having converted to organic viticulture as early as 1950 and having farmed biodynamically since 1974.
The soils are classic sand, clay and limestone, carpeted with galets, the region’s archetypal pudding stones. While many of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s producers rely heavily on Grenache, the Perrins famously grow all thirteen of the appellation’s permitted grape varieties. Notably, a high proportion of the late-ripening Mourvèdre helps to distinguish Beaucastel’s wines for their brooding, dark complexity and ageing potential. Many of the vines average at least fifty years of age. The unique Roussanne Vieilles Vignes comes from a three hectare parcel of vines, planted in 1909.
Each variety for their red wine is destemmed and vinified separately in temperature-controlled vats. The wines are then blended and aged in traditional 500 litre oak foudres: 12 months for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge and six months for the ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’. Beaucastel’s classic Châteauneuf combines fresh hedgerow fruit with liquorice, clove, Middle Eastern spice and a gentle cherry liqueur richness. It always stands out for its finely tuned balance of freshness and intensity. The vibrant and approachable ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’ offers outstanding value for a Côtes du Rhône of this calibre, while delivering impressive typicity.
Both the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blancs, including the show-stopping Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, and the Coudoulet Blanc are aged for eight months, 70% in tank and 30% in new oak barrels, before bottling. The Coudoulet Blanc has an enticing character with layers of citrus zest and ginger and a long, textured finish. Both Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blancs are poised brilliantly between rich and fleshy stone fruits and a fine vein of freshness. Where the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is restrained, youthful and nervy with a hint of nut, quince and crushed white flowers, the Roussanne tends towards a fuller, more impressive texture, where nutmeg and rocky minerals all vie for attention alongside its concentrated white stone fruit.
A quarter of Beaucastel’s 100 hectares lie just beyond the Châteauneuf-du-pape appellation boundary. It is the fruit from the vines grown here which make up the excellent Côtes-du-Rhône: 'Coudoulet de Beaucastel'. Given the proximity of the vineyards to Châteauneuf-du-pape, this wine is often dubbed a 'baby Beaucastel'. The soils are classic sand, clay and limestone, carpeted with galets, the region’s archetypal pudding stones, which help the grapes to ripen by retaining the daytime heat and releasing it at night. In addition to prime vineyard holdings, the Perrin family are pioneers of sustainable farming, having converted to organic viticulture as early as 1950 and having farmed biodynamically since 1974.
2020 was an exceptional vintage in the Southern Rhône, summarised by Marc Perrin as producing wines with “superb intensity, wonderful poise, finesse and elegance”. After a fairly mild winter, with one single episode of frost at the end of March, flowering began in mid-May under optimal conditions. Good weather continued throughout summer with plenty of heat, but lower temperatures than 2019. Cool and windy nights preserved freshness and maintained healthy growing conditions. The weather at harvest was also excellent, producing healthy and balanced fruit.
Each variety was hand harvested, carefully sorted in the cellar and vinified separately. The grapes were then pressed using a pneumatic press into cement tanks for alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, for 12 days at a controlled temperature of 20°C. The wine was aged for six months in oak foudres before bottling.
This wine is deep ruby in colour with aromas of black cherry, violets, white pepper and roasted herbs on the nose. The palate is powerful yet elegant, with ripe tannins and an energetic finish.