At Beaucastel the Grenache and Cinsault are fermented in cement while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are fermented in foudre. The result features finely pixellated fruits of the forest on the nose, with a full-bodied but mightily fresh and lively palate. The Mourvèdre element is strong this year, bringing vibrancy and power. It's firmly savoury, very dry and dramatic. A very tannic year has produced a seriously structured Beaucastel for the long term. (MW)
The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it’s not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.
A dark and winey style, offering a mix of plum, black currant and black cherry notes, infused with black tea, fruitcake and anise accents. Solidly built, vibrant and energetic from start to finish, this carries copious fruit easily through the lengthy finish. (JM)
The full-bodied, dense 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape seems a bit closed at the moment, but Asian five spice powder still brings plenty of complexity and nuance to the rich, dark fruit aromas and flavors. (JC)
Dark bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruit liqueur, incense, smoked meat and candied lavender qualities on the deeply perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that tighten up and turn livelier with air. Shows plenty of energy for a hot-vintage wine and finishes impressively long and chewy, with mounting tannins and repeating smoke and floral notes. (JR)
Rich, succulent black fruit with wonderful clarity and effortless depth. A real masterclass of the appellation, with meaty complexity on the palate as well as persistent fragrant spices. Spot-on balance to finish, even though the tannins are still very brash and furry. Certainly needs age, and should be a really wonderful investment. 18/20 points (RH)
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