2011 Château Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (Pre-Arrival)
A lush, tropical style, with a lovely core of papaya and creamed peach backed by acacia honey and lightly toasted macadamia nut notes. The long, creamy finish has a beautiful mouthfeel, while the papaya note echoes on. Drink now through 2014.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The big white wines, of course, are the two cuvees of Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape blanc. The 2011, which is 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache blanc vinified in tank, is showing tremendous notes of honeyed grapefruit, white peach, apricot, marmalade, crushed rock and spring flowers. Now these wines are made from earlier harvested grapes and no malolactic, so they should age slightly better and more evenly than they have in the past. As I have said before, the Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, from 100% old vine Roussanne, is the Montrachet of southern France. The 2011 is sensational, a wine of great complexity, intensity and full-bodied power. Lots of rose petal, marmalade, honeysuckle, candle wax, tangerine and orange rind notes make up this fabulously rich, intense wine that just blows me away every time I taste it in its youth. Whether it ages well or not is always debatable, but I would certainly drink it over the next 4-5 years, given the fact that it is so remarkable already.