2009 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Expert Ratings
WS 96 points
RP 94 points
(Read the full reviews below)
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Beaucastel Vineyards Old-Vines 96pts and The Secret of Beaucastel

Ever since Robert Parker called Beaucastel's Chateauneuf-du-Pape Hommage de Jacques Perrin, "One of the greatest wines I've ever tasted," The Wine Advocate's love affair with the southern Rhone's most fabled winegrowing family has only heated up. Particularly in the most torrid summers, the Perrin focus on the high tones and ethereal aromatic complexity of old-vine Mourvedre, catapults Beaucastel into the critical stratosphere. Such would be the case in the glorious summer of 2009.

Between late October 2008 and February 2009, the southern Rhone was treated to abundant rainfall, replenishing the water reserves in the substrata. Spring was cool and wet, but all that would change in the end of June when Nature turned on the heat lamp.

As Chateauneuf enologist Xavier Vignon was early to report to us, "The summer of 2009 was incredibly hot. We had 24 100-degree days and the warmest August in memory. The young vines suffered, as did the Syrah. But if you could have seen the condition of the Perrins' old vine Mourvedre, you would never have known there was even a heat spike. The Mourvedre was the secret to the vintage and no one handles Mourvedre like Beaucastel."

The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most voluptuous -- and surely the most elegantly age-worthy -- bottles of this historic vintage. Buttressed by a healthy dollop of 50-year-old-vine Mourvedre, Robert Parker compared it to the storied 1985, calling it "Full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth" -- suggesting that while it's drinking beautifully on release, it will continue to age gracefully for 25 years!

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator's Rhone guru, mimicked RP's enthusiasm, speaking of "Dark smoldering cocoa, mesquite, tobacco and roasted fig notes, all inlaid with pure cassis and plum preserves fruit flavors," before lobbing on 96 points -- making it Spectator's top-rated Chateauneuf of the year.

Last year, we netted the 2006 and 2008 Phelps "Insignia." Then there was Costanti and Poggio Antico. But, had you told us 5 years ago, when we began this little adventure, that we'd be writing about Chateau de Beaucastel on Superbowl Sunday 2013, we would have suggested a sobriety test -- before checking yourself into a rehab facility.

Tasting Notes

2009 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
"One of the more endowed 2009s, this is packed with dark smoldering cocoa, mesquite, tobacco and roasted fig notes, all inlaid with pure cassis and plum preserves fruit flavors. Long and authoritative on the finish, with singed vanilla bean and tar notes adding length and dimension. Best from 2015 through 2026."
96 points -- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

"2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. It will be one of the rare Beaucastels that is drinkable upon release. Made from this estate's classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel). If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years."
94 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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