HDH Wine

Château de Beaucastel Tasting Review

It is always a treat to taste through several vintages from a top producer, as the experience is usually both educational and revelatory. Our Château de Beaucastel tasting, held at ever-impressive Bristol restaurant, was no exception. Beaucastel truly is a gem of the Southern Rhône, and the wines, both Rouge and Blanc, are unparalleled in their depth, complexity, and richness.

The stars of the evening were undeniably the 1990 and 2004 Hommage à Jacques Perrin. Both wines were stunningly youthful and vibrant showing bright acidity with evolving layers of ripe bramble fruit, Asian spice box, and earth. The tannins on the 1990 were silky and well-integrated, while the 2004 possessed noticeable grip, making it the most age-worthy wine of the group.

Hands down the staff favorite, in an exceptionally rare unanimous vote, was the 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape; its perfume was immediately intoxicating, redolent of white flowers, wet stones, baked red fruits, and saddle leather. The palate revealed all of the same and more - it was so enticing that we returned to taste the 2000 again and again throughout the evening. For those seduced by bold ripe flavors, warmth, and richness, the 2003 vintage delivered in spades. Its ripeness made it the least "traditional" of wine of the evening, but what it lacked in a classic Châteauneuf profile it made up in pure hedonistic pleasure.

The 1989, 1994, and 1995 vintages all showed exceptionally well and were a delightful accompaniment to the menu prepared by Chef Pandel – of particular note were the boudin sausages and the duck confit, which raised these remarkable wines to an even higher level.

Of the whites, we enjoyed the 2006 and 2008 vintages. Those in attendance were equally divided as to their preferred vintage, but all agreed that Beaucastel possesses absolute mastery over the Roussanne grape. By their very nature, these wines are protean - constantly evolving not only while they age in the bottle, but also as they develop in the glass. Common to all the whites were a lush viscosity and elements of lanolin and honeysuckle - a profile found in few other wines. They were an unexpected treat for those who had never tried whites from the Southern Rhône.

Beaucastel's wines, like all great wines, provoked lively discussion and debate. Even those who have enjoyed Beaucastel for years were struck by just how disparate the wines can be from one vintage to the next. This tasting was a pleasant reminder of the many ways in which the sun, the soil, and the wind all play an important part in shaping a wine.

Please click here to view our complete inventory of Chateau de Beaucastel wines.


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Featured Château de Beaucastel Wines

2006 Châteauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes
2008 Châteauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes

1989 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
1990 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Hommage à Jacques Perrin
1994 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (magnum)
1995 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (magnum)
2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Hommage à Jacques Perrin
2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape