2007 Château Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Beaucastel’s 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape has turned out even better out of bottle than I predicted. An inky/ruby/purple color is followed by a glorious nose of blue and black fruits, truffles, pen ink, licorice, and meat juices as well as glorious levels of acidity and sweet tannin, buttressing the fruit’s fabulous freshness and vibrancy. This full-bodied effort still displays considerable tannin, no doubt because of the relatively high Mourvedre content. It should resolve its tannins in 2-4 years, and last for 25 or more. One of the great estates of the Rhone Valley, Chateau Beaucastel has been run by several generations of the Perrin family, beginning with the late Jacques Perrin (who died in 1978), then the brothers Jean-Pierre and Francois, and now their sons Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu. Beaucastel has nearly 200 acres in vine in Chateauneuf du Pape, and they have branched out with an impressive operation under the Perrin et Fils label, purchasing grapes and acquiring land (in Vinsobres and Gigondas, for example).
This extremely dense red delivers layers of melted fig, mulled boysenberry and black currant fruit, all laced with notes of charred mesquite, hoisin sauce and Kenya AA coffee. The long, silky mouthfeel belies the latent power in reserve—and there's a lot of it, with waves of grip driving the finish. Best from 2010 through 2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby. Powerful, pungent aromas evoke kirsch, blackberry, smoky herbs and dried flowers. Energetic, penetrating cherry and dark berry flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and given spine by a tangy mineral quality. A floral quality sneaks in with air, along with notes of allspice and star anise. The finish is sappy, focused and very long, with herbs and flowers lingering.
At first glance, this is not particularly impressive; it’s slightly herbal and rustic, with a raisiny edge to the fruit. But this really improves with air, fleshing out on the midpalate and losing the raisiny notes in favor of plum and savory notes. Give it four or five years in the cellar and drink it over the next 15 or so.
Dark and fresh with some sweet spice. Ripe and generous with an underlying power. Peppery with a cool streak through the middle and a juicy freshness within that generosity. Just a hint of tar and vanilla. Then more mocha as it opens up but remains compact. 18/20 points.