Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > I Taste Barrel Samples of Beaucastel

I Taste Barrel Samples of Beaucastel


I decided to make a quick visit to MacArthur Beverages to pick up some Greek wines and others to taste.  When I walked into the store everyone was in the back tasting some wine.  I was pleased to see Olivier Lotterie of Vineyard Brands again (he recently poured the Tablas Creek at the California Barrel Tasting) and completely surprised to see Cesar Perrin of Chateau de Beaucastel/Famille Perrin tasting barrel samples and other selections.

Cesar Perrin and the Author

The 2010 Chateau de Beaucastel, Coudoulet de Beaucastel and Beaucastel Rouge were barrel samples.  This is indicated by the different label which indicates Enchantillon pris sur cuve or “Sample taken from vat.”  According to Danny Hass (Vineyard Brands) these two wines have completed blending and will remain the same until they are bottled in September.  It was a pleasure to taste all of these wines.  For those who cannot wait the 2009s are lovely and if you have the money then squirrel away a bottle or two of the Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape.  I would like to extend my gratitude to Cesar Perrin and Olivier Lotterie for letting me join the tasting and to Danny Hass for quickly answering my questions.

2009 Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $11
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache sourced from 15-25 year old vines, a good portion of which are declassified young vines from Vinsobres.  There was a youthful and floral nose which was quite engaging.  In the mouth there were tart red fruit flavors, a little lightness, grapier tannins, and lots of red fruit in the finish leaning towards a citrus aspect.  This is a young but approachable wine to be drunk over the short-term.

2009 Perrin et Fils, La Gille, Gigondas – $30
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This is a blend of Grenache and Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines.  The nose was focused with red and blue fruit, supported by a hint of grapefruit, and eventually some good, earthy Gigondas stink.  In the mouth the flavors were focused with the strength of the wine held in check by youth.  The aftertaste revealed dark red fruit and was a little spicy.  I would cellar this for five years.

2010 Chateau de Beaucastel, Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge, Cotes du Rhone – $25
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This barrel sample  is a blend of Grenache 30%, Mourvèdre 30%, Syrah 20%, Cinsault 20%.  There was a nose of young black fruit with grapey aromas.  In the mouth the black fruit flavors led throughout along with some herbs, in an easy-going manner.  There was lively acidity throughout.  It is currently playing it close and will benefit from several years or more of cellaring.

2010 Chateau de Beaucastel, Beaucastel Rouge, Chateauneuf du Pape – $75
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This barrel sample  is a blend of 30% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache , 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault and the rest a blend of Vaccarese, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, and Roussanne.  It is the same blend as the 2009 but from a 30% smaller crop. The nose revealed tighter red fruit with hints of ripeness.  In the mouth there were red fruit flavors with lots of focus that put on weight as it developed in the mouth.  The tannins are very well-integrated, a bit spicy.  This wine is focused and determined to develop with age, the tannins and acidity are seamlessly integrated and lend to its understated capability for longevity.  Revisit in five years but should last for a very long time.

2009 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape – $80
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This wine is a blend of 30% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache , 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault and the rest a blend of Vaccarese, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, and Roussanne.  There is lovely brambly fruit on the nose tilting towards blue fruit flavors.  In the mouth there are lots of up-front softness (not flabby) before a seductive, racy quality (Licorice/Kirsch perhaps) comes out which persists all the way through the long aftertaste.  There are dark ripe flavors in the middle with lovely tannins and a stellar aftertaste.  I imagine this will drink earlier than the 2010.  A beautiful and very good wine.  Very approachable right now this is hard to resist drinking but should be amazing once mature.

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