Beaucastel’s Hommage à Jacques Perrin is incredibly rare, producing less than 300 cases per year and only made in excellent vintages. In 2013 production is down 10%. As such it takes pride of place alongside Romanee Conti, Le Pin and Screaming Eagle as one of the world’s rarest and most prestigious wines. Its debut vintage, the 1989 was awarded 100 points, as was the 1990; these trade at over £800 per bottle today. Since these seminal vintages, Beaucastel’s Hommage à Jacques Perrin also scored 100 points in 1998 and 2007.

In 2013 low yields were matched with careful selection. Nowhere is this truer than with the Grand Cuvee Hommage à Jacques Perrin. The Perrin family make multiple passes through each vineyard parcel, exerting draconian selection methods. In 2013 they increased the percentage of Mourvedre, the main grape variety in the blend, a grape that loves Indian summers and is therefore exceptional in the vintage. The result is a potential 100 point wine, scored 97-100 points by the Wine Advocate. This is exciting indeed, as is the price; at £525 it is £125 less per case than the 99 point 2012. As is apparent below, this rare gem rises in price in bottle showing superb vintage premium. As such today’s first tranche release price offers a wonderful entry point:

Hommage a Jacques PerrinScorePrice (WA)

*WA, Wine Advocate

Hommage à Jacques Perrin is a wine of huge power and structure and boasts stunning purity of fruit. Its cepage differs from Beaucastel, made from a larger percentage of Mourvedre, up to 60%, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and 10% Syrah, from the very oldest vines. The wine is aged for 12 to 18 months in used and new French oak barrels. Hommage à Jacques Perrin is considered the most age-worthy wine of the entire Chateauneuf du Pape region. It is also its rarest and most desirable wine.

Their Mouvedre is grown on almost one third of their land and is arguably the best example of this grape anywhere in the world. The vineyard is situated at the north-eastern end of the appellation, a short walk from the famous town of Orange. The Estate has remarkable terroir, abounded by rolling pebbles on the surface, the subsoil contains an abundance of clay, which perfectly retains the vines’ water supply during the long hot summer days.

The Estate was transformed in 1903 by a young chemical engineer named Pierre Perrin, who with his father-in-law returned it to past glories after the region was atrophied by phylloxera. Jacques Perrin drove it forward in the 1950s by introducing new technologies and innovations. Today the vineyard continues to be treated with wonderful care; minimal sulphur is permitted and no chemical fertilizers or weed killers are used. They vinify in large old barrels (foudres) and only the Syrah is exposed to new oak. The Estate has a bright future as Jacques’ sons Jean-Pierre and François Perrin continue to balance tradition with innovation

Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin 2013, 3×75, £525 – 97-100 Pts

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