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Bill Spohn

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TN: Beaucastel 1989 - 2007 (and 2019 white)

by Bill Spohn » Fri Dec 08, 2023 4:04 pm

Notes from a tasting of Ch. Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape.

2019 Blanc – clean nose with some nice floral notes with honey in the background. Clean and long. Nice way to start a tasting lunch.

1989 – this vintage has long been a favourite of mine – it still shows a killer nose with oriental spice, and pepper hints, very good fruit level for the age, smooth and full bodied with a long finish. Still singing at the age of 34. Got all 96 -97 point scores back in the day, which made it hard to find at the time. Showing some orange in the colour which is to be expected.

1990 – similar structure to the 89, but this time around it gave the 89 a hard time and was the preference of other taster. Darker colour with less orange/brown, more sweet fruit and a fresher presentation. Excellent. I laid down a case of each of these (and of the 1995) and am very happy that I did.

1995 – much darker than the older vintages and with a fresher kirsch scented nose with a slight funkiness, long and very smooth and sweet on palate perhaps still a bit tight but coming along nicely.

2001 – dark, a bit tight but with excellent fruit levels, a nose of black pepper and some forest floor and mushroom plus a fair shot of garrigue, very nice now.

2001 Hommage à Jacques Perrin – the results of this interesting comparison were surprising. The wine was showing a heavier funkier smoky nose than the regular cuvee and was a riper, sweeter wine with great concentration of flavours and a very long finish….and we all decided that we preferred the regular 2001!

2004 – sweet nose of black fruit, lower alcohol and heat, and good balance but not in the league of the previous wines

2007 Coudoulet de Beaucastel – I threw this in because I wanted to see what the difference was (I have the 07 regular CNduP but too soon to tap it). When I visited Beaucastel I went into the differences between the grand vin and the Coudoulet with the winery. I was told that the blend wasn’t always identical but usually close and I asked where the grapes for the Cotes du Rhone were grown – he pointed across the A7 route that runs right beside the tasting room and said “There!”. The appellation boundary is the A7 so anything grown across the road has to be called a Cotes du Rhone. Fortunately the 2007 wasn’t as ripe as some Rhones were that year, and it drank quite nicely, lacking the over-ripe character of some in that vintage (I have nine different Chateauneufs from that hot vintage but have left them pretty much alone so far)

All in all a very interesting afternoon of tasting excellent wines, accompanied by a chicken and mushroom terrine and cassoulet.

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John S

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Re: TN: Beaucastel 1989 - 2007 (and 2019 white)

by John S » Fri Dec 08, 2023 4:57 pm

Great tasting! I agree with most of your notes. The 1989 and 1990 were my two favorite wines and wonderfully different, yet of course also related. The 1989 was more elegant with more savory notes; the 1990 had more power and was more fruit forward but still had lovely savory flavours too. It was hard to pick a favourite!

The 1995 was a little grumpy; there were some good qualities from this wine, but it wasn't fully open for business. Needs much more time.

The two 2001 wines were also both outstanding wines. This is my favorite CNP vintage. The regular was similar to the 1989 in that the savory nose and flavours were prominent; there was nice fruit but it was secondary to the other wonderful, complex flavours. The 2001 Hommage was no slouch either! It was definitely more concentrated, more fruit forward and almost a little too much (but no heat or alcohol notes in any of these wines). I liked it more than other people around the table. Great now, but this has an amazing future - I would love to try one in 10-15 years!

The 2004 was, as you say, just not ready for prime time. The 2007 Coudelet was impressive - no heat or overripeness at all, and good concentration and energy for a CdR.

The terrine, cassolet and cheese course were all outstanding as well - they went very well with the wines.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: TN: Beaucastel 1989 - 2007 (and 2019 white)

by Paul Winalski » Sat Dec 09, 2023 2:13 pm

Beaucastel was notorious for brett problems when the older wines you reviewed were first released. I guess the problems disappear if you have enough patience with the wines?

-Paul W.
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Jenise

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Re: TN: Beaucastel 1989 - 2007 (and 2019 white)

by Jenise » Sat Dec 09, 2023 2:21 pm

So sorry to have missed this great event.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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