2020 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France (750ml)
Very dense black-fruit aromas, but also licorice, an entire microcosm of spice and a whiff of smoked bacon. Very dense and meaty with an incredible tannin structure that enables this to be simultaneously very big and elegant. Super-long finish with enormous mineral freshness. - James Suckling, 97 pts
Beaucastel's 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape is shaping up as a blend of 30% each Grenache and Mourvèdre, with 10% each Counoise and Syrah, plus 20% other permitted varieties, including a healthy proportion of white grapes. Complex and red-fruited, with hints of flowers and garrigue, it's expansive and richly textured on the palate, finishing long and silky. Best after 2023. - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 97 pts
Fresh and bright nose, then a palate with exceptionally smooth and fine tannins, lovely acidity and notes of blackberry and raspberry juice. Particularly fine, elegant and balanced this year. Grenache and Cinsault fermented in cement, Syrah and Mourvèdre fermented in foudre. - Decanter, 96 pts
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape was scheduled to be bottled the week after this tasting, and it's the usual blend of 35% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, and the rest Syrah, Counoise, and other permitted varieties. While the estate compares this to their 2016, it reminds me slightly of their 1990 and has a wonderful perfume of red, blue, and black fruits, as well as sappy garrigue, saddle leather, and ground pepper. It's beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, has a good sense of freshness, and fine tannins, as well as a tight, focused style on the palate that bodes well for longevity. It deserves 7-8 years of bottle age and should be long-lived. - Jeb Dunnuck, 96 pts
Magnificent deep-color of an intense ruby-red. Typical of Beaucastel, the nose is rich and complex but very fresh, with an opulent aromatic bouquet dominated by notes of fresh fruit and spices. Full,-bodied, soft, eminently silky, this very elegant wine reveals a superb, dense structure on the palate, very fine tannins and gourmet aromas of fresh red fruit, currants and noble spices. The finish has great length, ample and harmonious. A fruity vintage with great aging potential.
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