Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2006
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
|Brand||Château de Beaucastel|
The thirteen grape varieties of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation with a strong percentage of Mourvèdre and Grenache (30% each), Syrah 10%, Counoise 10% Cinsault 5% and the rest divided up amongst the remaining grape varieties: Vaccarèse, Terret noir, Muscardin, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne.
The Grenache and the Cinsault give the wine its color, intensity and softness. The Mourvèdre, Syrah, Muscardin and Vaccarèse give the wine its renowned ageing potential and dark, classic character. The Counoise, Picpoul and other varieties provide freshness, fragrance and aromatic quality.
The 2006 Beaucastel shows the textbook character of a mature Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It has expansive raspberry and cherry scents with suggestions of succulent herbs, pungent flowers, cigar box and just a hint of earth. Given the high percentage of Mourvèdre (almost a third of the blend), I would have thought that the earthy aspect would have been more pronounced, but that is not the case here. The 2006 is silky in texture, and the suave blend of depth and energy highlights its red fruit along with floral pastille and baking spice flavors. It finishes extremely long and precise, with superb clarity and just a hint of finely polished tannins adding gentle grip. Beaucastel often shows some gamy character when the wines are young; however, the 2006 did not in barrel nor after it was bottled, and there’s no trace of it now. I noted almost twelve years ago that this was a wine that “beguiles rather than brutalizes”, and I’m happy with that assessment today.
Powerful, with a round, almost creamy core of blackberry and raspberry fruit all layered with cocoa, sweet toast, mesquite and fig paste. Long and rich through the finish. Still quite primal, with lots in reserve. *Collectible*
As I stated last year, there is no Hommage a Jacques Perrin in 2006, but Beaucastel’s 2006 Châteauneuf du Pape is performing even better from bottle than it did last year. Its dense plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a big, sweet perfume of black truffles, camphor, earth, incense, new saddle leather, and loads of peppery, blackberry, and herb-infused, meaty, black cherry fruit. Deep, full-bodied, and dense, with sweet tannin, this explosively rich Chateauneuf is a stronger effort than the 2005, 2004, or 2003.
A fantastic wine, the 2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape fleshes out with air and displays deep, earthy aromatics of dark fruit, roasted meat, graphite, mushroom and old wood. In the mouth, the wine displays a medium to full bodied, structured personality to go with a fantastic texture, concentrated fruit and a long finish. If drinking anytime soon this needs plenty of air.
International Wine Cellar
($120) Vivid ruby. Spicy, finely etched red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by fresh lavender, herbs and minerals. The palate offers tangy raspberry and cherry skin flavors, with gentle tannins adding shape. Impressively pure, even delicate, with outstanding finishing clarity and length. This beguiles rather than brutalizes; I underestimated it last year.