A few quick thoughts on the 2000 Château Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
According to Harry Karis in The Chateauneuf-du-Pape Wine Book, the origins of Beaucastel date back to 1549 when Pierre de Beaucastel purchased land in Coudoulet. The property came under the control of its current owners, the Perrin family, in 1909 when Pierre Tramier purchased the property and turned it over to his son-in-law, Pierre Perrin.
Beaucastel is most notable for using the 13 historic grape varieties of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. According to their website:
Grenache and Cinsault provide warmth, colour and roundness; Mourvèdre, Syrah, Muscardin and Vaccarèse provide structure, aging abilities, colour and a very straight taste; Counoise and Picpoul provide body, freshness and very particular aromas.
Since the 1960s, all the vineyards have been farmed organically with several parcels biodynamic.
The 2000 vintage was a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault and 15% combined of Vaccarèse, Terret noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne.
Each grape variety is harvested and fermented separately. For reductive grapes like Mourvèdre and Syrah, fermentation is done in oak barrels while oxygen-sensitive grapes like Grenache are fermented in cement tanks. The finished blend is aged for a year in large foudres. Around 16,665 cases made.
High intensity nose. Lots of tertiary notes–meatiness, leather and tobacco spice. Dried red cherries come out with some air.
On the palate, those savory characters come through but more “animal-like”. Two Brett Stars but very well balanced with smoke and tobacco spice. Medium-plus acidity takes the dried red cherry notes and bring them back to life with freshness. Medium tannins are quite soft but still provide good structure. Long finish ends on the spice and meaty notes.
Gorgeous on several levels. For folks who like savory and tertiary notes, this wine is drinking perfectly now and with the acid will probably still be giving pleasure for at least 3-5 more years.
Well worth the $100 average retail but even at a restaurant mark-up around $185, I still think this is an exquisite bottle.