The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. It will be one of the rare Beaucastels that is drinkable upon release. Made from this estate's classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel). If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years.
This is not the bottled final blend but it's very close to it. 13 varieties including 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache and 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault. Held back but there is so much waiting to escape. You can feel all those components coming together (I had just tasted the varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault as separate - non-commerical - bottlings). The brightness of the Grenache, that dry, firm framework and length from the Mourvèdre and the completeness of the blend. Dry, fresh, long and impressive in its embryonic state. Power and finesse. Great length. 14%
The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape (30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the balance other permitted varietals) exhibits an opaque purple color as well as sweet aromas of camphor, truffles, black cherries, black currants, licorice, pepper and forest floor. The wine is full-bodied, rich, intense and powerful. Moreover, there is a lot more of the 2009 than there is of the 2008 (after the strict selection, only 50% of the normal production was achieved). Because of the significant tannins, the 2009 requires 3-5 years of bottle age and should evolve for 25-30 years.