Beaucastel was one of the very first domaines to practise organic viticulture – namely no use of herbicides, insecticides or any other chemicals. Unusually, all 13 permitted grape varieties are grown although it is Mourvèdre which is Beaucastel`s signature grape, often making up a third of the final blend. Beaucastel’s wines are matured in 500-litre oak casks and, after blending, are bottled with a light fining and without being filtered.
Bottled only a week before my visit, I was blown away by how well Beaucastel’s 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing. It’s full-bodied, creamy, lush and rich, with layers of raspberry fruit, garrigue and spice that unfold across a seamless palate. No doubt it will go through cycles of being open and closed throughout its lifespan, but it would be a mistake to simply order a case, put it into storage and forget about it without trying one first and swooning over the sheer lusciousness and youthful complexity. [97 Points, Joe Czerwinski – August 2018, robertparker.com]