2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Château de Beaucastel, Rhône

2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Château de Beaucastel, Rhône

Product: 20118007384
Prices start from £360.00 per case Buying options
2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Château de Beaucastel, Rhône

Description

Château de Beaucastel’s 200-hectare estate is farmed organically by the Perrin family. Marc Perrin compares the 2011 with 2000; both were quick off the blocks and finished with an Indian flourish; both were somewhat lacklustre mid-season, which delayed or at least slowed down the growing cycle. Both, he concludes, have produced significantly above average wines. We see no reason to disagree with him.

The Perrins have honed this to a near flawless example of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. On tasting it starts slow before the flavours gather momentum and the freshness and texture persist, through floral notes, closing off with an iodine-crisp finish. This will drink very well anytime between now and 2020.
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6 x 75cl bottle
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Critics reviews

Jancis Robinson16/20
Wine Advocate94/100
Robert Parker92/100
Jancis Robinson16/20
Bottled. Savoury, almost reminiscent of a Condrieu on the nose. Quite light on the palate – transparent. Doesn’t taste especially strong. Lively and easy rather than especially ‘serious’.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com – 26 Feb 2013 Read more
Wine Advocate94/100
One of my favorite vintages for this cuvee, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc never fails to impress. Revealing a medium-gold color, it has gorgeous richness and depth in its honeyed stone fruits, peach, buttered-citrus and salty minerality. Voluptuous, full-bodied and decadently textured, it has both freshness and focus, both of which come through on the finish. I'd drink bottles over the coming 2-3 years, or hold off for a decade.
Jeb Dunnuck - 14/09/2015 Read more
Robert Parker92/100
The big white wines, of course, are the two cuvees of Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape blanc. The 2011, which is 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache blanc vinified in tank, is showing tremendous notes of honeyed grapefruit, white peach, apricot, marmalade, crushed rock and spring flowers. Now these wines are made from earlier harvested grapes and no malolactic, so they should age slightly better and more evenly than they have in the past. As I have said before, the Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, from 100% old vine Roussanne, is the Montrachet of southern France. The 2011 is sensational, a wine of great complexity, intensity and full-bodied power. Lots of rose petal, marmalade, honeysuckle, candle wax, tangerine and orange rind notes make up this fabulously rich, intense wine that just blows me away every time I taste it in its youth. Whether it ages well or not is always debatable, but I would certainly drink it over the next 4-5 years, given the fact that it is so remarkable already.

As I said last year, the Perrin family is a large one indeed, with brothers Jean-Pierre and Francois sitting at the top of the hierarchy and their four sons, Mathieu, Pierre, Thomas and Marc increasingly taking charge of their negociant business and their extensive estates throughout Southern Rhone. Now controlling over 1200 acres, as well as having a network of contracts, this operation is the equivalent of a major Southern Rhone train operating at high speed. Moreover, they are doing some incredible work in all price ranges.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012
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About this WINE

Chateau de Beaucastel

Chateau de Beaucastel

The Perrin family of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are one of the Rhône Valley’s greatest vineyard owners. With over 200 hectares of top level, prime vineyards at their fingertips, they have the terroir and skill required to produce some of the region’s finest wines.

The estate traces its history back to a plot of Coudoulet vines bought by Pierre de Beaucastel in 1549. Tthe estate was transferred into the Perrin family in 1909 through marriage, where it remains firmly to this day. Despite being one of the old guards of the region, they are also one of the most progressive estates, They were one of the first converts to organic and biodynamic faming in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which they adopted in 1950 and ’74 respectively.

The family was delighted with their ’20 vintage. Marc Perrin summarised it as “one of the all-time classics. The wines have superb intensity, wonderful poise, finesse and elegance. Each varietal was matured to perfection and our fortune of being at the funnel of the Mistral wind is so telling.” Indeed, the vintage is already being compared to the greats of ’90, ’10 and ‘16 –  one approachable in its youth but also able to age to decades.

 

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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White Rhône Blend

White Rhône Blend

With the exception of the wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet virtually all Rhône Valley whites are made from blends.

In the north, the white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and St-Péray are produced from blends of Marsanne and Roussanne. Generally Marsanne is the dominant partner and it lends colour, body and weight to the blend, as well as richly scented fruit. Roussanne, a notoriously low yielder and pernickety to grow, produces intensely aromatic wines which contribute bouquet, delicacy and finesse to the blend.

Until about 15 years ago there was very little interest in southern Rhône whites as it was widely believed that the combination of dull non aromatic grapes and the baking summer heat meant quality wine production was nigh impossible. Since then the quality has improved markedly through the introduction of cool fermentation techniques and increased plantings of northern Rhône white grapes.

The base of many blends is still Grenache Blanc, a widely planted variety producing fresh wines with apple-like fruits, often with hints of aniseed. Ugni Blanc is still found in many blends, as is Clairette though their general lack of character and definition has led to a reduction in plantings. The future for southern Rhône whites appears to lie with Roussanne, Marsanne, and, increasingly, Viognier.

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