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2009 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
(94 points) The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. It will be one of the rare Beaucastels that is drinkable upon release. Made from this estateâ€™s classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel). If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years.
Brothers Jean-Pierre and Francois Perrin as well as their four sons, Thomas, Marc, Pierre and Mathieu, have quickly become the dominate wine producers of the entire southern Rhone Valley. They have expanded their operation even further by partnering with the Jaboulets. Now having over 1,200 acres in vine and extensive contracts, this is a high quality locomotive, great news for consumers seeking a range of top quality red and white wines in all price ranges. The Perrinsâ€™ greatest success is undeniably their enormous quantities of high quality, inexpensive wines called La Vieille Ferme, a white from the Cotes du Luberon and a red from the Cotes du Ventoux. The Perrins are now the top producers of wines from the cool climate southern Rhone appellation of Vinsobres, located in the northern sector of the region and meaning â€œsober wine.â€ In 2008, the Perrins purchased one of the better estates in Gigondas, Clos des Tourelles, a 25 acre property located at the southern end of the village from which they make two cuvees. True stars in the Perrin portfolio are the white and red Cotes du Rhone from their estate called Coudoulet which is adjacent to the appellation of Chateauneuf du Pape. As longtime readers know, Chateau de Beaucastel makes two of the great white wines of the southern Rhone, although in Chateauneuf du Pape the rather dramatic amelioration of quality that has taken place with white winemaking has given them more competition than they had a decade ago. Wine Advocate #197 Oct 2011
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