Bottle Notes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2003 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.

Ruby red in color. 13.5% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, iron, leather and Herbes de Provence. Medium body with light to medium acidity. Not showing any of the roasted notes commonly associated with the ’03 vintage but not showing much fruit either. Cherries, kirsch and plums on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Lacks the concentration and power I associate with Beaucastel. Good but somewhat disappointing. Drink over the next year or so.

My rating: 88 points.

Current vintages of Beaucastel including the ’15 are widely available at retail and a good buy in the $90 range.

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