Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2009, Château de Beaucastel

Chateau de Beaucastel

2009
Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. It will be one of the rare Beaucastels that is drinkable upon release. Made from this estate’s classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel). If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years. Wine Advocate

Château de Beaucastel has long been regarded as one of the greatest wines in France. It is notorious for its elegance, balance and ageing potential. Beaucastel has an exceptional terroir at the Northern limit of Châteauneuf du Pape, exposed to the Mistral wind. All thirteen varieties of the appellation have been organically grown since the sixties.

Variety
Syrah/Shiraz, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre
Alcohol-abv
14.5 %
Reviews

Robert Parker 94 Points, Antonio Galloni 93 Points

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£95

Ratings

94 Points Robert Parker

93 Points Antonio Galloni

Rhone Valley

Rhone Valley

The Rhone Valley is a key wine-producing region in the southeast of France. It follows the north–south course of the Rhone river for almost 150 miles (240km) from Lyon to the Rhone Delta (the Bouches-du-Rhône), near the Mediterranean coast.

The length of the valley means that Rhone wines are the product of a wide variety of soil types and mesoclimates. The region's wine-producing areas cover such a distance that there is a widely accepted division between its northern and southern parts. Rather neatly, they are separated by a gap of 25 miles (40 km) between the towns of Valance and Montelimar, in which almost no vines are grown.

This Rhone Valey region is dived in two subregions: Northern Rhoen and Southern Rhone. The smaller northern section focuses almost entirely on Syrah for red wines and Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne for whites, while the larger south employs a much longer list of varieties. The most notable of these are the red varieties Grenache and Mourvedre, which are combined with Syrah to produce the so called 'GSM' blend so characteristic of the southern Rhone. While the granite-blessed slopes of the north are paired with a continental climate, the rocky, sandy soils of the flatter south enjoy the warmer winters of a Mediterranean climate.

France

France – the home of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire and Champagne – is arguably the world's most important wine-producing country. For centuries, it has produced wine in greater quantity – and of reportedly greater quality – than any other nation. Wine is ingrained in French culture at almost every level of society; it is the drink of both the elite and the common people, and a key symbol in Roman Catholicism, France's majority religion.

The diversity of French wine is due, in part, to the country's wide range of climates. Champagne, its most northerly region, has one of the coolest climates anywhere in the wine-growing world – in stark contrast to the warm, dry Rhone Valley 350 miles (560km) away in the southeast. Bordeaux, in the southwest, has a maritime climate heavily influenced by the Atlantic ocean to its west and the various rivers that wind their way between its vineyards. Far from any oceanic influence, eastern regions such as Burgundy and Alsace have a continental climate, with warm, dry summers and cold winters. In France's deep south, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon enjoy a definitively Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and relatively mild winters.

France's appellation system was created in the early 20th century and has since been imitated in many other countries. This complex system of laws ultimately defines each wine region and its boundaries and imposes strict rules around winemaking practices. Protecting the names of French wines and guaranteeing the quality and provenance of the products themselves are its key objectives. No other country has developed its appellation system to such an extent; as of 2012, there were more than 450 controlled appellations under the AOC titles and a further 150 Vin de Pays/IGP titles.