2003 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
*Editors' Choice* One of the big names of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this wine justifies the fame of the Perrin family’s property. It is a rich style, but, more importantly, it is beautifully made, structured, dense, with red jelly fruits, a touch of vanilla and a fat, full-bodied, but firm aftertaste. This is a wine for aging—give it at least five years before touching it.
Young and tight, with garrigue and roasted game aromas peeking out from a core of ripe black currant, plum and fig fruit. Lots of toast tobacco and iron as well. The finish is well-endowed with tannins, but they are ripe and pure. Best from 2008 through 2025.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red. Vibrant raspberry, blackberry, floral and spice aromas convey impressive purity and freshness. Supple and sweet, with deep red fruit flavors, hints of floral pastille and baking spices and gentle tannins. This wine has more grenache than usual for the property, which makes it one of the most graceful (despite the hot vintage) wines I've had from the Perrins. Clean and energetic on the finish, which echoes the red fruit and floral qualities. A touch of heat takes my score down a hair, but this is Chateauneuf, after all. I scored this wine 93 points on release.
A stew of a wine to go with our braised beef -- very rich and herbal but clean, none of the horsey aromas for which young Beaucastel is so notorious. The heatwave vintage didn’t seem to have left its calling card of uncomfortably dry tannins in this wine which was already very opulent and flattering. 17.5/20 points. Drink 2007 to 2020.