Chateau Beaucastel Vertical Tasting [94-08]

Attending a vertical tasting of the same producer is really one of the most educational things to for ones brain and palate. To understand how  a wine develops and of course how the vintages differ.  Its always cool during one of these tasting that someone will say ‘this doesn’t taste like the same producer’.  Which to me makes it fascinating, it just shows you how the year was.

I’ve had the opportunity to do a couple vertical tasting now one of a Barossa Shiraz [which just shows how that youthful fruit fades/integrates, and same with the oak into something beautiful] and one from a new producer Osoyoos Larose [which shows that young vines really dont age].

Going into the Beaucastel tasting I was expecting a big ole Brett Party, and I was a little disappointed that I didn’t, because I was already had my 80s Bandana Ready, knee high socks, some thick rim glasses but NO.  What I found was maybe a couple vintages with a hint of Brett, and you know what maybe it was more of the Mourvèdre

Below are my tasting notes. You will notice that as we got to the end of the tasting my notes were less detailed, one maybe due to the alcohol as we were not spitting [which I don't like for writing notes] and the fact that the younger wines just didnt taste ready like the older ones so I became disenfranchised of the newer vintages, they were not ready to drink.  Another thing that did stand out was the labels, From 94 to 99 they all seemed to state 13% alc, then the 00 to 05 was 14% and the ’07 and ’08 were 14.5%. My Question is what is the true %, and were the just reusing the same label, was the vintage is on the next on its on label. Thoughts to ponder!

VERTICAL OF BEAUCASTEL [94-08 MINUS CPL YRS] – Vancouver, BC (12/3/2011)

A Vertical of Beaucastel, Minus 1996, 2002, 2006

  • 1994 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeMed Ruby
    A: Med Intensity, Developing
    Currant Jelly, Stem/Earth, Light Leather notes, smokey leather to be exact
    T: med+ intensity, med body, med to med+intensity, long finish
    A Youthful Currant Jelly, Leather/Smk, Spicey Raisin GrapeConc: Has an elegance to this wine, with opening up to a raisin note
  • 1995 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeA: Med Intensity, Developing
    Leather/Funk, Peppery not subtle
    T: High Acid, Med+ Intensity, Med+ Finish
    Intensely Focused, the brightness is so youthful. Leather/Spice, Youthful leather tho. Coffee, Vegetal/Cooked Not RawConc: So Youthful/Concentration is there but not ‘massive’
    This has another 15years of life!
  • 1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeMed Intensity, DevelopingCrazy Fresh Pepper! Creamy/Cherry Creamsicle, amazing acidity focus. Hits all the spots.
    Med+ Acid to high acid, med tannins
    Chocolate, Cherry/Creamsicle deliciousness, Cola SpiceConc: as they say firing on all cylinders. Exceptional
    Beside the 95, more structure, more complete (95 pts.)
  • 1999 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Papemed+ Intensity, Getting close to the funk/brett
    Honey/Syrup, Youthful/Rich
    Med+Body, med Intensity
    Licorice, Chewy Cherry, Berry fruitConc: A little bit more on the riper side
  • 2000 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeMed+ Intensity, Medicine/over the top fruit
    T: Med+ Acid, Med+ Body, med+Finish
    Big Fruit, Ripe, SpiceConc: I first wrote down ‘needs time’ and youthful, but going back to and from whatever says in the room, it just doesn’t seem to be there, and I dont know if time will do it justice [taking a quick over at CT notes it seems maybe it does need time/a good decant]
  • 2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeStructure is there, Balanced for sure, coming across with that youthful ‘baby fat’ fruit notes, and ham fat, cranberry/cherrySome notes I wrote down ‘Spicy’ ‘meaty’ ‘elegant’Conc: I know a couple people really picked this one to be there beaucastel WOTN. I think this will be excellent in 5-10 years for sure (93 pts.)
  • 2003 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeMossy/Fresh Forest Floor, Meaty [Chicken]
    Med+ Acid, med/med+ tannin, med+ body, long FinishFresh, Big, Structuredconc: from my notes this seems to be another one for the long haul, just too young but excellent (92 pts.)
  • 2004 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeClosed Nose, Nothing [everyone in the room agreed]Med body, med+ intensity, med+ acid
    Bitter finish, baby fat fruit, spice dark chocolateConc: Might of shut down for the tasting
  • 2005 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeLooks like I skipped over this wine. Is that good or bad?
  • 2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeA: Med Int
    Mushroom, Touch of Fruit
    T: med+ Acid, med+ body, med+ tannin, med+ int, med+ finish
    Big Fruit, Chocolate, Dark/ConcentratedConc: Dark Structure, youthful, would like to see how it develops. This coming off from the ‘hot/ripe’ 07 (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape- France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-PapeLooks like no notes, think this was too young for me to even bother to write anything down after everything else

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