Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Looking at the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc, which is 80% Roussanne and the rest Grenache Blanc and Clairette, it has a rocking nose of apple blossom, melon, honeyed minerality, and spice as well as medium to full-bodied richness on the palate. It picks up a terrific green almond-like nuances with time in the glass, and it’s textured, balanced, and just another brilliant white from this team. Rating : 94+
You could almost mistake this very sophisticated and elegant white Chateauneuf for a white Burgundy, if it wasn’t for the pronounced fresh-apricot note. This is ripe and fleshy, but in a refined way, the acidity at the finish supple, but it remains very clean and straight. A blend of roussanne with a small amount of grenache blanc. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold
Beaucastel's 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is 80% Roussanne (half in new oak and half in second-use wood) and 20% other permitted varieties (made in stainless steel). Honeyed pear and pineapple notes dominate the nose, while the palate is full-bodied rich and luscious, yet remains vibrant, refreshing and long on the finish. I find it delicious now and don't see any need to age it, although it will undoubtedly hold together for several years. Best after 2021
The first evidence of Château de Beaucastel as it exists today is in the sixteenth century. In 1909, Pierre Traminer bought the estate and then transferred it to his son-in-law Pierre Perrin, a scientist who further developed Beaucastel. His son, Jacques, continued his father’s efforts until 1978 and today, the torch is carried by Jacques’ sons, Jean-Pierre and François. They are joined by the fifth generation of Perrins—Marc, Pierre, Thomas, Cécile, Charles, Matthieu, and César.
The vineyards of Château de Beaucastel are located on historic land where each of the 13 approved grapes varietals of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation are planted. The art of blending these 13 grapes has been passed down from one generation to the next. Beaucastel is, first of all, a family story, the story of Famille Perrin. Their main strength is being able to blend the talents of each family member to run the wine estate under common values: absolute respect for land and terroir; biodynamic culture as a philosophy of life; and the research of truth, balance, and elegance.
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.
According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.
Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.