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Château de Beaucastel Producer website | An interesting podcast interview with Marc Perrin |
The Wine Doctor on Chateau Beaucastel |
Perrin & Fils Blog on Chateau Beaucastel
Red Rhone BlendOn CellarTracker, Red Rhone Blend is the term for a wine consisting of two or more of the traditional 13 Southern Rhone grape varieties. Typically it's the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre or Cinsault grapes, but can also contain the Muscardin, Counoise, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Roussanne, Terret Noir, Picardan or Vaccarese grapes.
A 'food' wine. Lacking pretension and intended for local consumption with local cuisine. Lacks the 'high' notes on a Bordeaux, more earthy and sharper so often a better partner to meat dishes with a sauce.
Coudoulet de Beaucastel Producer website
__Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red__
Château de Beaucastel is located five kilometres south-east of Orange at the northern limit of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation. The 30 hectares Coudoulet de Beaucastel vineyard lies just to the east of Beaucastel on the other side of the A7 autoroute. For reasons that will become evident, it is often referred to as a baby Beaucastel. When one looks at the geology of the soil at Coudoulet, the similarities with the soil at Beaucastel are legion. It is composed of a layer of marine limestone from the Miocene period, covered by a deposit of alpine diluvium. This blanket of rounded stones (or "galets") contributes much to the wines of Beaucastel: they retain the intense heat of the Mediterranean sun during the day then slowly disperse it to the vines during the night. They provide a head start to the vines in springtime. During the long Mediterranean summer, lack of water can stress the vineyard at times.
However, the resistance built into Beaucastel's vine stock from 30 years of continuous organic culture allows the vineyard to come through periods of drought with few problems. Because the soil is porous and aerated, the vineyards at Beaucastel have developed root systems that penetrate deep into the earth in their search for water.
Coudoulet, as Beaucastel, owes its ability to age to the high proportion of Mourvedre - about 30% - that makes up the final cuvée. This provides a tannic backbone and resistance to oxidation that ensures long life. In addition, Mourvedre introduces aromas of leather, tobacco, and spice to the blend. One should note also that the Beaucastel and Coudoulet vineyards are at the northern limit for growing Mourvedre, and it is well known that the best expressions of any varietal come from the cooler parts of their growing areas. The other main variety, Grenache, gives Coudoulet the rounded fullness and intense fruit that is typical of Côtes du Rhône. Syrah and Cinsault represent about 20% each and bring tannins and aromatic complexity to Coudoulet.
After careful hand harvesting, the grapes are transferred to the winery. Maceration takes place in enamel tiled vats over about 12 days before the free-run wine is taken off and a light pneumatic pressing applied. Each grape variety is kept separately until after malo-lactic fermentation, when the final blend is decided. The young wine continues to mature for about six months in large oak barrels or "foudres". In March following the vintage, the wine is fined with egg whites and bottled.
__Area of production__
Côtes du Rhône, adjoining the vineyard of Château de Beaucastel between Orange and Avignon. The Coudoulet vineyard is 30 hectares / 60 acres in size.
Miocene marine molasses with a layer of alpine diluvium (rounded pebbles).
Grenache 30%, Mourvèdre 30%, Syrah 20%, Cinsault 20%.
Hand picked harvest and sorted grapes which are then heated briefly to 30°C / 176°F before being cooled to 20°C / 68°F. Maceration in enamel tiled vats for twelve days. The juice is then drained off the rest pressed pneumatically.
The different grape varieties, which have been vinified separately, are blended together after malo-lactic fermentation and matured for six to eight months in large oak barrels. The wine is bottled after fining with egg whites.
Colour: bright and lively, with great depth.
Nose: red fruits.
Palate: Luscious, with hints of thyme.
France Vins de France (Office National Interprofessionnel des Vins ) | Pages Vins, Directory of French Winegrowers | French Wine (Wikipedia)
Rhône The Rhône Valley/Le Vins de la Vallée du Rhône (Comité Interprofession des vins AOC Côtes et vallée du Rhône)
Southern RhôneThe 2007 vintage in Southern France was wonderful. Here is what controversial Robert M. Parker (Wine Advocate Issue 179) said about it, “Throughout the southern Rhône, 2007 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in my thirty years working in that region. I think of 2007 as a hypothetical blend of an opulent, powerful, sumptuous year such as 1990, and a cooler draught vintage such as 2001. The cool weather and the remarkable three weeks of Mistral in September that concentrated the grapes without any spikes of high heat appears to have given the 2007s an aromatic dimension and freshness that I have rarely witnessed. Combine that with wines that are substantial, powerful, and relatively high in alcohol, with super depth of fruit! These are very aromatic wines of great concentration, freshness, laser-like focus, and amazing purity as well as depth. It is the vintage of my lifetime for this region, and I don’t say that lightly.”
Robert Parker, on the 2010 vintage:
"Some producers think 2010 eclipses 2007 because of the wines' vivid freshness and focus. Throughout the southern Rhône, the hallmarks of the vintage are very dense purple, sometimes even blue/black colors as well as higher acid levels that have not been seen since 2004 and 2001. In fact, 2010's paradox is that I can't remember a vintage so concentrated, powerful and rich that also has such zesty acidity. The 2010s will have significant aging potential, which is obvious in the level of tannins, but the tannins are sweet with exceptional elegance and finesse. The ratio of high extractive and phenolic skins to the juice has produced wines of extraordinary intensity, freshness, aromatic potential and obvious longevity. This is another great vintage that offers an embarrassment of riches for this region that has enjoyed a succession of extraordinary years."
Côtes du Rhône Côtes du Rhône (Wikipedia)