The flagship is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin, 75% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and the rest Counoise, brought up all in foudre. Blueberries, Peking duck, new saddle leather, black cherries, scorched earth, and an incredible sense of minerality all flow to a massive, concentrated, pure, perfectly balanced 2016 that is a prime example of the old saying, “an iron fist in a velvet glove.” It's a heavenly, perfect wine that's going to live for 30-50 years. One of the old guards of the region, Château de Beaucastel is nevertheless one of the most progressive and forward-thinking estates out there. They have a wealth of old vine Mourvèdre planted in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and have purchased heavily in the cooler appellation of Gigondas. They’ve broken the lineup into their Château de Beaucastel releases for the estate wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and several additional cuvées released under their Famille Perrin label. Looking at the 2016s, these wines remind me of how the 2001s tasted on release. They are some of the finest wines in the vintage as well as ever made at the estate. These are classic, concentrated, yet perfectly balanced wines that will benefit from bottle age. In contrast, the 2017s are also brilliant but more forward and charming, and I suspect the preponderance of clay soils at this estate helped dramatically with keeping the vines ripening grapes as opposed to shutting down during this hot, dry vintage.
A more savory, moody, strong expression. Deeply rich nose with minerals, flowers, wild herbs, tar, toasted spices and pepper. The dark berries have a smoky edge. Minerally edge, too, thanks to the 60 per cent mourvèdre. The palate has glossy, ripe and super-fine tannins in sheets. Deep-set, dark plums and blueberries in the finish. Noble tannins. Age-worthy.
A tasting of the Courrieux vineyard, a single parcel of Mourvèdre planted in 1909 that always makes up around 70% of the blend. It's a wine that makes you inhale deeply. It has a wonderful, regal, stunning nose of violets, blueberries, and blackcurrant almost. It's seamless on the palate, with some camphor, menthol and rosemary notes to the fruit. There's sublime freshness, and the tannins are full and dense but very ripe. A mouth-filling, mouth coating and very intense wine, with a saline finish. Potentially worthy of a perfect score. Drinking Window 2027-2050. (MW)
Tasted three weeks after bottling, I couldn't quite bring myself to give the elusive three-digit score to this admittedly super wine. Perhaps once the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin has been in bottle a bit longer, as Mourvèdre seems to go into a bit of a funk when recently bottled. For now, it's merely profound, packing in savory, mossy nuances, hints of exotic dried spices like star anise and cardamom and layers of rich, plummy fruit that manage to be full-bodied and deliciously intense without being weighty or overwrought. Creamy, lush, intense and long, it's a tdf (tour de force) in CdP. (JC) 99+
Opaque ruby. Heady aromas of mineral-tinged dark berry preserve, incense and espresso; a sexy floral nuance gains power as the wine opens up. Smoky, appealingly sweet and lively on the palate, offering densely packed black and blue fruit, cola and candied licorice flavors braced by juicy acidity and exotic flourishes of five-spice powder and violet pastille. Finishes with outstanding clarity and dark-fruit-dominated persistence, leaving suave floral and spicecake notes behind. (JR)
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