Bottle Notes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

1996 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Chateau de Beaucastel, located in Courthezon in the Southern Rhone Valley, has over 250 acres of organic vineyards. Unlike many Rhone Valley producers, Beaucastel grows all 13 of the grapes permitted in the appellation and the estate uses an unusually high percentage of Mourvèdre in its red wines, usually around 30%, along with 30% Grenache and smaller amounts of Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarese and Muscardin. The estate’s most prestigious wine, Hommage a Jacques Perrin, is made with 70% Mourvedre. Several families have owned the estate over the course of its 400-year history and the present owners are the Perrin family, whose ownership of the estate dates to 1909.

Light crimson in color. Almost translucent. 13.5% ABV. Subtle nose of cherries, iron and Herbes de Provence. Delicate and ethereal on the palate. Flavors of blood, kirsch, dried plums and garrigue. Still solid on the finish even at 20 years of age. This wine has aged beautifully. A triumph for the vintage. Clearly ready to drink.

My rating: 92 points.

Current vintages of Beaucastel including the ’09 and ’10 are still available and were a buy for me in the $80 range.

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