2018 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1.5 L

Year: 2018
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 95-97
Vinous Media: 92-94
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
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"Another in a string of top vintages, Beaucastel's 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape was produced from Grenache yields of only eight hectoliters per hectare ("normal" is about 28 hectoliters per hectare, according to Marc Perrin). The final blend I was shown is almost candied in its fruity intensity of raspberries and cherries, yet it has a potent underpinning of more savory elements, like tapenade, grilled meat and dried spices. Full-bodied, with fine, silky tannins, this shows tremendous length, reverberating with hints of crushed stone on the finish." (WA)

"Deep ruby-red. Ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur and hints of garrigue, smoked meat and potpourri on the mineral-accented nose. Palate-staining black currant and cherry pie flavors show excellent clarity, chewy texture and a hint of spicecake that builds as the wine opens up. The energetic, impressively long finish repeats the floral and dark fruit notes, and youthfully chewy tannins add shape and solid closing grip." (VM)

"Moving to the reds, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape showed nicely with a deep ruby/purple color as well as classic Beaucastel aromas and flavors of darker currents, blueberries, smoked meats, black licorice and roasted herbs. With medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, clean, elegant texture, sweet tannins, and a great finish, this seamless, elegant Beaucastel will be approachable in its youth, yet still have 20+ years of prime drinking.

Château de Beaucastel is located in the cooler, windier, and more pebbly clay soils of the northern part of Chateauneuf du Pape, and as such, were less affected by the devastating outbreak of mildew in the spring of 2018. In addition, Mourvèdre fared much better than Grenache in the vintage, all pointing to a great vintage for this estate in what was a more challenging vintage for much of the appellation. Marc compared 2018 to 2001 last year, and while I don’t think the quality, or concentration, is quite at that level, the purity of the tannins as well as elegance found in their 2018s share similarities to the 2001s. The 2019 whites from this estate showed beautifully, and these are world-class wines that deserve a place in every wine lover’s cellar. The general rule with the whites is to enjoy bottles on release and over the following 5-7 years, then they are best forgotten until around age 20." (JD)