Following Jeb Dunnuck’s report (Wine Advocate), which was released on Friday afternoon, we are pleased to launch our first Chateauneuf du Pape from the superb 2015 vintage. The 2015 vintage in the Rhone is already considered the best since 2010, although it is said to be stylistically more powerful. Spring conditions were superb, which was followed by heat and some drought through July and August. In fact, Chateauneuf du Pape received more sunshine in 2015 than in 2010 and 2011. The vintage finished with storms in late August and once again in September, which provided a tonic to the vines and lengthened the harvest. Dunnuck was clearly impressed calling it an ‘exceptional vintage’. Of course, Chateau Beaucastel is a leading light of the region and as one would expect, has made a superb wine in 2015.

Dunnuck gives Beaucastel 2015 93-95 points stating ‘The Grenache and Mourvèdre were the clear standouts, both possessing terrific concentration, purity of fruit and ripe tannic structure. This will certainly be an outstanding wine, and it has a touch more concentration than the 2012.’ It is noteworthy at this stage to mention that the 2012 has 96 points. We can therefore expect the 2015 to reach the upper range of his score, or higher down the road. Beaucastel is a wine recognised the world over for its splendour, regarded among the world’s truly exceptional wines. The good news however, is that it remains very well priced indeed. Today’s release price of £225, or £37.50 per bottle on release is a very appealing proposition, when we consider its global renown, age potential and critical acclaim. The 2015 vintage is one to stock up on, it will reward you for decades.

Beaucastel is the most famous wine from Chateauneuf du Pape and one of its oldest estates, dating back to 1549. Beaucastel Rouge is a heady mix of the famous CNDP grapes, 30% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and 5% Cinsault, balanced with other varietals. 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. Production is limited to 8,000 cases a year.

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 Perrin and François Perrin continue to balance tradition with innovation.

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