Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003 Front Label
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003 Front LabelChateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003  Front Bottle Shot

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003

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Winemaker Notes

"One of the big names of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this wine jusitfies the fame of the Perrin families property. It is a rich style, but more importantly, it is beautifully made, structured, dense..."
-Wine Enthusiast

The vineyard is a patchwork of all 13 permitted grape varieties, 70 hectares in all. The soil is the same porous, aerated blanket of Alpine diluvium (rounded stones) on a base of Miocene marine limestone that exists elsewhere on the estate. The vines are on average 50 years old and yields are never more than 30 hectolitres per hectare and often much less. It is a vibrant and healthy vineyard due to years of organic cultivation and close monitoring of the needs of each vine.

The red wine of Beaucastel as with Coudoulet de Beaucastel is a structured, intense yet lean drink, thanks in part to the large percentage of Mourvedre - about 30% - in the final cuvée. Its austere tannic backbone and resistant to oxidation help Beaucastel age gracefully.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
WS 94
Wine Spectator
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the weaker vintages for this estate yet still outstanding, the 2003 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape delivers a surprisingly fresh profile, yet ten years after the vintage, it is entering the early stages of maturity. Loaded with red and black currants, iron, beef blood, rolled stone and garrigue on the nose, with no roasted fruit or over ripeness, it shines on the palate with excellent depth and richness. Medium to full-bodied, supple and integrated, with plenty of ripe fruit, it should continue to evolve for a handful of years. Consume it over the coming decade, max.
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Chateau de Beaucastel

Chateau de Beaucastel

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Chateau de Beaucastel, France
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateau de Beaucastel Winery Image

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 Chateau de Beaucastel, is producing what most people acknowledge to be the finest wines of Chateauneuf-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 Chateauneuf-du-Pape: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardin, Bourboulenc, Roussanne.

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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SEC86201_2003 Item# 86201

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