This is a stunning Beaucastel. A classic! Has a superb array of fruit, ranging from red, through to blue, darker purple and black. Nuances of dark, stony minerals, spices, wild flowers and herbs. So fleshy. This has impeccable balance, super-silky tannins and an extraordinarily long finish. This has decades ahead of it. Drink or hold.
Tons of other great reviews, naturally. But the most informative may be from John Livingstone-Learmonth, the leading British expert on the Rhone, who gives it his top, five-star rating:
(barrels) dark red, black and purple tints. The nose has a soft, squeezy black berry fruiting, mulberry and raspberry in the second register – they provide a milder note. There’s a rather stylish sweetness, an implication of rosemary, herbs and lamb stock. There’s a good box of varied tricks to come. This is immediately enjoyable on the palate, is running with squelchy, wavy mixed berry fruits. The tannins are ripe and deep, and approachable, fleshy. This is Beaucastel in the more modern recent style. There is velvet wine within an actually firm casing; it has more foundation than the 2015. From 2021. 2038-40 Château de Beaucastel, Oct 2017 As an indication of the quality of the vintage right across the board, François Perrin showed me this 50 hl barrel of Counoise (1982) at 12.4°: **** red robe. Has a prominent spice-clove aroma with rose, musky tones, black pepper, real good clarity. The palate stretches out well, has a keen freshness, and beau red fruits, with nerve. It ends on fine red juice, is a serene wine. “The Counoise was abundant this year, and this is the opposite of an extraction wine,” François Perrin. Previously Oct 2017, London ***** (mixed barrels) bright, full red colour. The nose offers sweet, bosky, mixed herbs, hay airs, a discreet black cherry inside, also raspberry. It’s a gourmand, open arms start. Grenache leads it, and there is a stiff inner, indicating potential. The palate gives a full package of suave gras richness and coated tannins, all in a sphere. There is munchable content with the 2016 texture of smooth and sure depth, well-fitting tannins, and low-key freshness. It is more fleshy and over than in previous decades, but is tuneful and stylish. It may well close – don’t be deceived by its current flattery. From 2020-21. 2036-39 Oct 2017
I find a lot of Chateauneufs too expensive these days, but for what this is – and what it will be over time, this one is an absolute bargain.