Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chateau de Beaucastel Blanc Vielles Vignes 1996

I've been reading what a pain in the ass Roussanne is recently, how winemakers in the Rhône are grubbing it up and replacing it with the more robust and, arguably, less elegant Marsanne. I don't know if this is endemic, or just something wine writers feel they need to gripe about, as there isn't always very much to chat about in the wine world, and new subject matter is always at a premium (see the constant stream of 'next big varietal'  chat in the wine press - it's pretty dire stuff). The Perrin brothers make this Roussanne and have no intention, as far as I'm aware, of replacing it with Marsanne. That's for the best, as I feel this cuvée is by far the finest wine they make.

The beginnings of brass in with the gold and some green highlights. Still bright in its maturity.

Nutty on the nose, with bread-y star fruit and quince. With air comes honeycomb.

Honeycomb textured mouthfeel - waxy with honey smeared over toast, layers of quince and glazed peaches. There's some orange flower water there as well. As it opens up there's greater harmony, the individual notes fusing into something greater than its parts. That toastiness loses its burnt edges. Really superb stuff.


Tasted 20 August 2011 at Shorehead

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