2014 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100: #28
"Very sleek and refined despite the obvious heft, featuring steeped red and black currant fruit studded with bergamot, blood orange, sweet tobacco and alder notes. The long, racy finish has a lovely echo of singed mesquite. Best from 2015 through 2027. 10,000 cases made. -JM" (WS)
"Reminiscent of a lighter weight 2009, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape offers up a sweet bouquet of spiced black cherries, plum, truffle, saddle leather and underbrush. Coming from tiny yields (which were down 50% from 2010), this medium to full-bodied 2011 is gorgeously textured and has solid mid-palate depth, terrific purity of fruit and ripe tannin. Relatively approachable and enjoyable even now, it should nevertheless evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. Drink 2015-2031.
Covering a full 175 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape, with significant holdings throughout the Southern Rhone (mostly vinified at and released under their Famille Perrin brand), Chateau De Beaucastel is a benchmark estate that excels at all price points. Looking at the wines reviewed here, 2011 is surprisingly strong (especially for the Chateauneufs) and with their perfumed aromatics and supple textures, they show a lot of similarities to the 2009s. The 2012s as a whole show more freshness and purity, with good concentration, and should require more bottle age to come around. Both vintages are worth seeking out. Looking at the 2011s across the board, all of which were in bottle, it appears to be a strong vintage here. While the vintage suffered due to uneven ripening in the Grenache, it was actually a solid vintage for Mourvedre and this shows, particularly in the Chateauneufs." (WA)
"($99) Deep ruby. Dark berries, dried cherry, anise and lavender on the highly perfumed nose. Offers intense cassis and bitter cherry flavors with sexy floral pastille and spicecake nuances. Aeration brings out a smoky quality that carries through the long, smooth, gently tannic finish. There's 40% mourvedre here but I wouldn't have guessed it based on this wine's forward, voluptuous character." (VM)