Saturday, September 29, 2007

September 29 - Beaucastel Part.2

A visit to Beaucastel isn't complete without trying some so off to the tasting room....

2006 - Beaucastel Blanc.
The Roussane grape is dominant with 80% (small percentage of 60 year old vines) and another 20% comprised of Grenache Blanc (10-40 year old vines). Honey, flowers, good acidity and a minerality. Good to serve on the cool side i.e. 10-12 centrigrade.

2006 - Beaucastal Blanc Vielle Vignes
Again made of Roussane but this time 100% pure and straight up. The vines are old (I'm told 78 years). Production is absolutely miniscule at 6000 bottles per annum ( sorry now 5999 for '06). With the Roussane variety I am told you either drink it within 5 years of the vintage of 10 years later. The 5-10 year period is supposed to be a funky phase where the wine shouts down and appears oxidised. Strangely enough I have not it during this phase but have had ones over 10 years - you will be nicely surprised. The RVV belies it's age in comparison to Beaucastel Blanc - you can tell the age of the vines in the wine! If the regular version is a child then the RVV is a middle-age adult - more complex, more depth, more layers, more of everything. If you do have both and then go back to the regular version - you will find it lacking and "shallow". I would not be afraid to serve this warmer than the regular Beaucastel Blanc say 13-15 degrees.

2005 Beaucastel
Comprised of 13 grape varieties. The various grapes bring their unique characteristics to the table and balance one another out. Mourvedre for it's tannic structure and ageing potential, Grenache for the warmth and texture as well as others. The CdP true to its roots. Given the various varieties and their maturation profiles that each variety would come forward at different times during the ageing process. You can try one young (i.e. within 5 years) but it won't reach a sense of harmony without 10 years of age - this is my own personal view of course. Right now too young but good raw materials should be fantastic.

1998 Beaucastel
Here we are starting to get serious. IMHO still not quite there in terms of harmony but getting there and should do it within 5 years? Depth, breadth, fantastic stuff.

1986 Beaucastel
IMHO has reached the stage of harmony. Leather, animal, dried fruits it's all there. Not a stellar vintage but drinking well and probably at it's peak.

* Note with food - Try something hearty almost rustic. The typical cuisine is Provencal - so olive oils, thyme, basil, tomatoes. Perhaps even Tuscan food may work ....?

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