Château de Beaucastel

Southern Rhône, France

Dating back to the 16th century, Château de Beaucastel was acquired by the Perrin family in the early 1900s. With a global following for their benchmark Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the wines at this historic property are consistently ranked among the Rhône’s finest.

Château de Beaucastel’s estate is surrounded by its vineyards, near the town of Courthézon in the north-east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A quarter of Beaucastel’s 100 hectares of vines lie just beyond the appellation’s boundary and the fruit here makes up their excellent Côtes-du-Rhône, ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’. Its white counterpart, the Coudoulet Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, hails from a three-hectare parcel within this vineyard. In addition to having prime vineyard holdings, the Perrin family are pioneers of sustainable farming, converting to organic viticulture as early as 1950 and farming biodynamically since 1974.

Their vineyard soils are a classic combination of sand, clay and limestone, carpeted with galets, the region’s archetypal pudding stones. While many Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers rely heavily on Grenache, the Perrins famously grow all thirteen of the appellation’s permitted grape varieties. Notably, a high proportion of the late-ripening Mourvèdre helps distinguish Beaucastel’s wines for their brooding, dark complexity and ageing potential. Many of their vines average at least 50 years of age and the unique Roussanne Vieilles Vignes hails from a three-hectare parcel of vines planted in 1909.

Each variety for their red wine is destemmed and vinified separately in temperature-controlled vats. The wines are blended and aged in traditional 500-litre oak foudres, 12 months for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge and six months for the ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’. Beaucastel’s classic Châteauneuf combines fresh hedgerow fruit with liquorice, clove, Middle Eastern spice and a gentle cherry liqueur richness. It always stands out for its finely tuned balance of freshness and intensity. The vibrant and approachable ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’ offers outstanding value for a Côtes du Rhône of this calibre while delivering impressive typicity.

Both the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blancs, including the show-stopping Roussanne Vieilles Vignes and the Coudoulet Blanc are aged for eight months, 70% in tank and 30% in new oak barrels, before bottling. The Coudoulet Blanc has an enticing character with layers of citrus zest and ginger and a long, textured finish. Both Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blancs are poised brilliantly between rich and fleshy stone fruits and a fine vein of freshness. Where the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is restrained, youthful and nervy with a hint of nut, quince and crushed white flowers, the Roussanne tends towards a fuller, more impressive texture, where nutmeg and rocky minerals all vie for attention alongside its concentrated white stone fruit.