In a nutshell: A lovely 'mini Chateauneuf-du-Pape' from one of the finest producers in the region.
The lowdown: Chateau de Beaucastel are a world renowned, benchmark Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer and one of the best in the entire Southern Rhone. This Côtes du Rhône 'Coudoulet de Beaucastel' is regarded as their "baby Beaucastel", and is worthy of that title. The biodynamically farmed vineyards are located near Beacastel, but just outside of the appellation's boundaries so are classified as Côtes du Rhône. The soils themselves are similar and the blend of this wine, 40% Grenache but with a healthy 30% Mouvedre is also very similar to that of the big Beaucastel. This is an elegant and sophisticated wine which benefits from decanting and opens up and develops over time. Perfumed aromas of red and dark fruits, spice, dry herbs with touches of garrigue. The palate is medium-full bodied, smooth with silky, deep tannins and is very well balanced.
When to drink: Approachable and drinking well now. Pretty versatile in terms of food pairings. Try with chicken or lamb tangine, or any variety of Mediterranean style dishes.
Château de Beaucastel is one of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's most famous estates. The Château itself is a historic property and dates back to the sixteenth century when it was established by one Pierre de Beaucastel. It has been owned by the illustrious Perrin family since the early 1900s and is the jewel in their stable highly regarded domaines. Up until 2018 the estate was run by brothers Jean-Pierre and François Perrin since when François' son César has assumed responsibility. Prior to taking over he has amassed experience at different estates across the world including a stint at Romanée Conti in Burgundy. Today their wines have a global following for their wines which are consistently among the finest in the region.
Château de Beaucastel's vineyards surround the estate, which is near the town of Courthézon in the north-east of the appellation. A quarter of their 100 hectares lie just beyond the appellation's boundary and the fruit from the vines grown here makes up their excellent Côtes-du-Rhône: Coudoulet de Beaucastel. Its white counterpart, the Coudoulet Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, comes from a three hectare parcel within this vineyard. In addition to prime vineyard holdings, the Perrin family are pioneers of sustainable farming, having converted to organic viticulture as early as 1950 and having farmed biodynamically since 1974.