2010 Chateau Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Interestingly enough, even though many of the 2010 Perrin et Fils selections from the southern Rhone were scheduled to be bottled right after my visit, the 2010 Beaucastel had already been put in bottle. This is a gorgeous wine, a classic blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the balance the other permitted varietals in the appellation. Deep purple, with loads of bouquet garni, beef blood, blackberry, kirsch, smoke and truffle, this wine is full-bodied, rich and showing even better than it did last year. I still think it needs 3-5 years of cellaring, and it should last for 25-30 years, as most of the top vintages of Beaucastel do.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(roughly 30% each of grenache and mourvedre, with 10% each of counoise and syrah and the balance "everything else"): Vivid ruby. Fresh raspberry and cherry on the intensely perfumed nose. Sappy and sweet, with deep red fruit preserve flavors and hints of succulent herbs and rose pastille. Packs a punch but also shows impressive energy and balance. The raspberry note carries through on the finish, which also features a suave, slow-building note of star anise.
Tank sample, pre-assemblage. Mourvèdre was especially good in 2010, apparently. Very dense and meaty on the nose. Appetising and no shortage of flesh but no heavy sweetness or alcohol. Really quite racy! Complex. Real lift and line through it. 18/20 points.
The 2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape is just being bottled now. The sample was drawn from a tank with the final blend. Aromatically, it's the purest Beaucastel I've ever experienced, with a gorgeous beam of red currant and red cherry fruit, followed by intense lavender, bitter cherry, clove-studded blood orange, iron and sanguine notes which ripple seamlessly through the finish. This is a wine built on cut, rather than power, with the fruit persistent to the very end offset every step of the way by its minerality. It's very intense without any heaviness, with remarkable freshness and purity. It has the depth of the 2005, the cut of the 2001 and its own dimensions of purity, balance and length. It is clearly classic in quality and is easily among the elite vintages that Beaucastel has ever produced. (James Molesworth via Wine Spectator blog, 06/25/2012)