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Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Roussanne 2016

Roussanne from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • JD100
  • RP96
0% ABV
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  • V94
  • WS96
  • JS96
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  • RP97
  • WS96
  • RP97
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  • RP98
  • WS96
  • RP97
  • W&S97
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Winemaker Notes

A beautiful bright yellow color with green highlights. The nose is discreet, stylish and elegant, with notes of rose petals and beeswax. In the mouth the wine grows and turns right, with notes of gingerbread, cinnamon, close and white pepper. The finish is beautifully balanced between salinity and minerality.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
Also bottled two weeks ago, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is utterly killer and is as good as it gets. Huge notes of orange blossom, peach, tangerine, honeysuckle, and caramelized citrus flow from this insanely good, unctuous, heavenly textured white that possesses full-bodied richness and power, yet stays light, graceful and perfectly balanced on the palate. Drink bottles anytime over the coming 4-6 years, or cellar for a decade or more. Robert Parker once famously called this the Montrachet of the Rhône, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Don’t miss this wine!
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 500-case production of this wine comes from a three-hectare parcel of Roussanne planted in 1909. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes takes the quality of Beaucastel's traditional white and raises it another level. Caramelized pineapple sounds sweet and cloying, but it isn't when it's backed by amazing texture, citrus zest and a briny sensation on the never-ending finish. As this was the last wine of my visit to the estate, I found it especially hard to spit out.
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Chateau de Beaucastel

Chateau de Beaucastel

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Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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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.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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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.

Roussanne

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Full and silky in body but also charmingly crisp, Roussanne makes a stellar blending grape. Thought to be native to the Rhone River Valley of France, and still predominantly grown there, it is responsible for some of the finest Northern Rhône white wines. Roussanne adds richness and acidity to Marsanne’s soft, fruitiness, making the age worthy and highly respected whites from the appellations of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and St. Joseph. It has earned approval as one of the white varieties for Châteauneuf-du-Pape

In the Glass

Persistent aromas of exotic herbal tea, a full body nearly as complex as a red wine, and distinct apricot and honey flavors make Roussanne unique. With age, the wines gain a more oily and glycerin texture.

Perfect Pairings

Richer fish dishes such as salmon, lobster, crab or grilled shrimp work well with Roussanne and its blends. A meal of roast chicken with herbs and winter vegetables is also delicious. Stuffed Butternut Squash, vegetarian curry and baked brie with apricots are other ideas to pair with Roussanne based wines.

Sommelier Secret

Roussanne takes its name from the French word “roux,” meaning rouge or red because of the grapes’ pink glow. In California, virtually all of the 339 acres of Roussanne come from true clones brought over by Tablas Creek and John Alban.

VBRBEA_3400_16_2016 Item# 418045