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February 200496 Beaucastel has been on a terrific qualitative roll over the last four vintages, and the 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape (which Francois Perrin feels is similar to the 1990, although I don’t see that as of yet) is a 15,000-case blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the balance split among the other permitted varietals of the appellation. This inky/ruby/purple-colored cuvee offers a classic Beaucastel bouquet of new saddle leather, cigar smoke, roasted herbs, black truffles, underbrush, and blackberry as well as cherry fruit. It is a superb, earthy expression of this Mourvedre-dominated cuvee. Full-bodied and powerful, it will undoubtedly close down over the next several years, not to re-emerge for 7-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.
Web Only - 201293 This has fleshed out nicely, beginning to show secondary notes, with mesquite, incense and black tea now emerging from the fleshy, bundled core of plum sauce, cassis and blackberry preserves flavors. A dark tarry note on the finish is offset nicely by a mouthwatering sanguine hint.—2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape non-blind retrospective (November 2011). Drink now through 2021.
International Wine Cellar
January 200492+ Bright ruby-red. Liqueur-like raspberry, licorice and a medicinal quality on the nose. Then quite backward in the mouth, with very primary dark berry and black cherry flavors hinting at great ripeness. Quite primary today and less animal than usual for a young Beaucastel. Elegant, slow-building finish features fine-grained tannins and excellent grip.