Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
#28 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014
The Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape opens up to near black in color in the glass. On the nose, the wine is very delicate and powerful at the same time, red fruit, black currants, blackberries, spices, thyme and lavender. The bouquet is very elegant, rich and round. Figs, cherries, black currants and stewed fruit, all with a great acidity. The tannins are present but very delicate.
Chateau de Beaucastel has long been considered as one of the greatest wines in France. It is famously known for its elegance, balance and ageing potential. Beaucastel has an exceptional terroir at the northern limit of the appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, exposed to the mistral wind. All thirteen varieties of the appellation have been grown organically since the sixties.
Wine Spectator - "Very sleek and refined despite the obvious heft, featuring steeped red and black currant fruit studded with bergamot, blood orange, sweet tobacco and alder notes. The long, racy finish has a lovely echo of singed mesquite. "
The Wine Advocate - "Reminiscent of a lighter weight 2009, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape offers up a sweet bouquet of spiced black cherries, plum, truffle, saddle leather and underbrush. Coming from tiny yields (which were down 50% from 2010), this medium to full-bodied 2011 is gorgeously textured and has solid mid-palate depth, terrific purity of fruit and ripe tannin. Relatively approachable and enjoyable even now, it should nevertheless evolve gracefully for 15-20 years."
Wine Enthusiast - "An impressive wine by any measure, this shows ample complexity in its mix of black cherry, dark earth and briery notes. The tannins frame the wine’s opulent fruit, while remaining wonderfully unobtrusive. This should drink well for at least 15 years from the vintage. "
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby. Powerful, expressive aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry and licorice, with suave anise and floral overtones. Juicy and precise, with tangy red and dark berry flavors, supple texture and a strong mineral note on the back. Spicy on the finish, which shows very good focus and length. This is impressively elegant and should be drinkable on the young side.
Range: 91-93 Points "
Wine & Spirits - "Although the hot spring and cool, wet July of 2011 made for some challenges (yields were down 50 percent from 2010), this is a lush and inviting vintage of Beaucastel. It stands out not only for the exuberance of its cassis flavor but its purity; if that flavor were a color, it’d be cadmium red. While it should hold well in the cellar for a few years, it is so appealing now it’s hard to think of a reason to wait."
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Chateau de Beaucastel Winery
In 1549, "Noble Pierre de Beaucastel" bought "a barn with its land holdings, containing 25 saumées at Coudoulet". More than four centuries later, this remarkable domaine, known today as Château de Beaucastel, is producing what most people acknowledge to be the finest wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
In 1903, a young chemical engineer and mathematics professor named Pierre Perrin, together with his father-in-law, began to restore the domaine following the ravages of phylloxera. His son, Jacques Perrin, took over the domaine in 1953 and introduced many innovations such as improved grape varietals, integrated pest control, and a flash-heat exchanger.
Today, the third and fourth generations of Perrins, François and Jean-Pierre and Jean-Pierre's sons Pierre, Marc and Thomas, continue in the tradition of their father and grandfather. The vineyards of Beaucastel are treated as a garden: no chemical fertilizer, no chemical week killers or sprays are permitted. Organic fertilizer comes from compost and only a minimum of traditional sulphur-copper spray is used in the vineyards.
The vineyards are planted in all the traditional grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardin, Bourboulenc, Roussanne. View all Chateau de Beaucastel Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4 }div>3.8 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 1
- 4 Stars: 3
- 3 Stars: 0
- 2 Stars: 1
- 1 Stars: 0
5 ratings, 1 with reviewWIll D - Biloxi, MS48/5/2015klesz33 - Manteno, IL47/30/2015
Ariel Nguyen - San Francisco, CA46/20/2015
- Smooth & Supple
sherin - Young America, MN21/22/2015Golfpixel - Gilford, NH510/17/2014
- Smooth & Supple
Still young but a Classic Chateauneuf at a reasonable price
- Fruity & Smooth
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: