wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The wines of Château de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf du Pape

Beaucastel is one of the most celebrated estates in the Southern Rhône, making long-lived, expressive red wines with a higher Mourvèdre component than is usual in Châteauneuf du Pape. For me, one of the great attractions of their red Châteauneuf is that it not only ages well, but each vintage seems to take on its own personality. The 2000 vintage appears to be a great success here. Quite different from the 1999, it is much richer and expressive at this still-early stage. No doubt the sinewy 1999 will be a very good wine in time; however, it seems that 2000 is a step above this and may prove to be one of the very best Beaucastels. Certainly one worth monitoring. Prices quoted are the Bibendum en primeur prices. Two numbers are given: first the price per 12 in bond (ex duty ex VAT), and then the calculated final bottle price (including duty and VAT). (See also: Château de Beaucastel vertical tasting.)


Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape 2000
Quite a deep purple/black colour. Really lovely nose is still youthful but already showing complex, intense, liquoricey, spicy fruit. There's a bit of lushness here, but it's not blowsy. The palate is rich and powerful, with ripe-yet-savoury fruit, firm tannins and a spicy finish. This big, brooding wine is powerful but well balanced, and may well turn out to be a sensational Beaucastel given time. Get some if you can! Excellent (£240; £24.87)

Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape 1999
This was closed when I tried it last (more than a year ago), and it's still not giving much away on the nose. There's a bit of sweet, herbal fruit with a faint liquoricey edge. The palate is concentrated, tannic and savoury, with good acidity. Quite a challenging, austere, sinewy wine to drink now, but has lots of potential. Don't think about opening for another five years. Very good/excellent (£280; £28.79)

Perrin 'Les Sinards' Châteauneuf du Pape 1999
Sweetly fruited but savoury nose with a dusty, spicy edge. The palate is chunky and rich, showing some attractive fruit and nice minerality. Some tannic structure here, and with good concentration this is an attractive, full-bodied Châteauneuf du Pape. Very good+ (£125; £13.61)

Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge 2000 Côtes du Rhône
Earthy, herbal nose with a touch of sweetness to the fruit. The firm, almost austere savoury palate shows herby fruit, some tannins and good acidity. This medium-bodied wine needs food; it may evolve, but it's possibly a bit charmless and hard work at the moment when drunk alone. Very good+ (£90; £10.18)


Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc 2000
Quite a rich, fruity, nutty nose. The palate shows good intensity and a fascinating soft, rounded texture. With its low acidity, this is an unusual wine. It's interesting, and a good example of white Châteauneuf , but I'm not terribly keen on this style. Very good+ (£220; £22.91)

Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc 2000 Côtes du Rhône
This expressive white has a 'modern', youthful nose with a boiled sweets tint to the ripe fruit, and a lemony, spicy edge. The fruity palate shows good intensity, a nutty character and a rounded texture. Very good (£85; £9.69)

Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc 1999 Côtes du Rhône
I wasn't impressed by this wine: it may be a slightly faulty bottle, though, and I didn't have time to re-taste from a fresh one. The rich, nutty nose has a touch of butterscotch to it and a lifted, volatile edge. The palate is nutty and chunky, perhaps a little oxidised; certainly quite evolved. Good intensity of savoury flavour though. Good (£78; £9.00)

Tasted at the Bibendum Rhône 2000 en primeur tasting, March 4th 2002

Back to top