Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Beaucastel Jean-Pierre & François Perrin Information
About the domain
Château de Beaucastel is a fully organic vineyard. It produces some of the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines in the appellation. The vineyard dates back to the 16th century, 1549 to be precise, when Pierre de Beaucastel acquired some parcels of land in Coudoulet. The family carved its coat of arms into the walls of the property that was built there some time later and today this same crest is emblazoned on the chateau’s wine bottles and printed on its bottle labels. Winemakers who achieve such heights of perfection, especially in the long term, are very unusual. Over the generations, the same level of success has perpetuated and the know-how has been passed on admirably. Today, Jacques Perrin’s sons, Jean-Pierre and François, and their respective children Marc, Pierre, Thomas, Cécile, Charles, Matthieu and César, who represent the fifth generation, have taken up the torch. There are 130 hectares of vineyard at Château de Beaucastel but only 100 of these are used, and planted with 13 authorised grape varieties. The vines are, on average, 50 years old and yields are never higher than 30 hectolitres per hectare, often much lower. Chemical fertilisers are prohibited at the property; a ""house"" compost is used instead, and treatments are kept to a minimum. Thanks to these methods, diseases have diminished and insects and birds have come back to the vineyards. Château de Beaucastel was in fact the first vineyard in the Rhône Valley to convert to organic farming in 1950 and biodynamic farming in 1974. In the winery, the grapes are meticulously sorted, having been harvested exclusively by hand. Once they have been stemmed, they are vinified in vats and aged for one year in oak foudres. All the different varieties are kept separate to respect each one’s character, aromas and individuality. After barrel-ageing, the wines rest in their bottles for another year at the property. Over the past 15 years, the Perrin family has also acquired vineyards in other appellations with the successful ambition of becoming experts in the south of the Rhône Valley.
About the cuvée
This wine is one of the rare Châteauneufs which is actually vinified from all of the famous thirteen varieties! It is produced from vines of more than 50 years in age, with a limited yield (30 hl/ha maximum), and a terroir which is reflected through the use of near-organic viticultural methods. It is widely admired, and serves as a benchmark for many winemakers in the region. Although all thirteen grape varieties are present, lending this red wine a rare complexity, Mourvèdre (30%) and Grenache (30%) are overwhelmingly dominant.Upon completion of the malolactic fermentations, the thirteen grape varieties are blended in 40-hectolitre oak barrels. The young wine remains there for a year, before being fined with egg white prior to bottling. Once bottled, the wine will spend a year in the château's cellars before being put on sale.The slow maturation of the grapes, combined with a long, gentle vinification, produces a wine with silky tannins, yet with plenty of volume in the mouth. The fruitiness and balance are impressive, as is its potential for keeping.
General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.