Beaucastel's 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape has turned out even better out of bottle than I predicted. An inky/ruby/purple color is followed by a glorious nose of blue and black fruits, truffles, pen ink, licorice, and meat juices as well as glorious levels of acidity and sweet tannin, buttressing the fruit's fabulous freshness and vibrancy. This full-bodied effort still displays considerable tannin, no doubt because of the relatively high Mourvedre content. It should resolve its tannins in 2-4 years, and last for 25 or more.
Saturated ruby. Smoky aromas of black raspberry, cola, licorice, tar and dried flowers expand with air while maintaining focus. Extremely fresh, with energetic red and dark berry flavors strongly underscored by candied flowers and minerals. I kept waiting for tannins to come out but it didn't happen. Finishes lush and creamy, with lingering notes of red fruits and tobacco. The blend this year is 30% each of mourvedre and grenache, 10% each of syrah and counoise and the rest "all the others."
Extremely dense, with layer upon layer of melted fig, mulled boysenberry and black currant fruit, all laced with notes of charred mesquite, hoisin sauce and Kenya AA coffee. The long, silky mouthfeel belies the latent power in reserve-and there's a lot of it, with waves of grip driving the finish. Best from 2010 through 2030.
30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 5-10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the rest. Very dark purple. Very thick and concentrated and extremely ripe. Quite difficult to see the acid. Lots of tannins, but tannins are ripe or mûr - and mûres (blackberries) in fact - grainy tannins. Date tasted 10th Dec 08.
The Chateauneuf du Pape had not been assembled at the time of my visit so I had the privilege of tasting all the different component parts. My ratings were (91-93) for the Cinsault, (92-94) for the Counoise, (93-95) for the Grenache, (90-93) for the Syrah, and (94-96 for the Mourvedre. The Mouvedre and Grenache represent 65% of the final blend, so I tend to think that this wine will fall within the (93-95+) range. Even though Beaucastel rarely uses as much Grenache as the other famous Chateauneuf du Pape producers, their 2007 is very much in keeping with the vintage. It exhibits beautiful freshness, superb maturity, great fragrance, full-bodied power and more seamlessness than 2006. This may be their greatest vintage of Beaucastel since 2001 and 1998. It should age effortlessly for a minimum of two decades.