Out of the thousands of wines we tasted in 2017, the 2015 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rouge, is our #1 Imported Wine of 2017. This highly allocated release earned a category-winning 96 points from Wine Access, as well as dual 97-point scores from Wine Spectator and from James Suckling. Spectator calls it, “a stunner from the get-go,” with “plenty of bass,” while Suckling finds this blend of all 13 classic Châteauneuf grape varieties “impressive, powerful.” Not to be outdone, Parker’s former Rhône Valley critic, Jeb Dunnuck said, “This is a beauty that offers more depth and richness than just about every other wine in the vintage.” The flagship property of the famous Perrin family, this Beaucastel from the already legendary 2015 vintage was $125 upon release — we have it at just $79 per bottle (37% off). Guaranteed provenance and cellar-direct condition.
In the early 1990s, our good friend Matt Deller, MW took part in a comparative tasting of Château de Beaucastel’s 1989 and 1990 vintages. Included in that tasting were heavyweights like Château Rayas and Vieux Télégraph, but the Beaucastel was Matt’s favorite CdP and has been ever since. “I’ve made a point to buy bottles from every vintage because no matter the year, Beaucastel delivers an amazing balance of power and elegance, with an ethereal anime quality,” he says. “A true meditation wine, great with hearty meat dishes, but I prefer it with simple cheeses to let the wine shine.”
Beaucastel is distinctive among Châteauneuf for its high percentage of Mourvèdre. An early adopter of biodynamic farming, they fully embrace all 13 permitted grape varieties of Châteauneuf — listed in our Wine Facts section — and use of massal selections rather than clones in the vineyards, which in turn delivers excruciatingly low yields, and massive concentration of flavors. Once harvested, and the grapes are pressed, the wine ages in 500-litre oak casks with light egg-white fining, but no filtration. The result is a wine of incredible depth, finesse, complexity and longevity.