April 24, 2020
A Special IWM Cellar Selection Presentation:
The Pinnacle of Traditional Châteauneuf du Pape From a 450-Year-Old Château and a Vaunted Vintage. A Final Allocation of the 2016 Recalls the Glories of 2001 and 2010.
“One of the great estates of France, a bastion of traditionalism in the southern Rhône...”
If the Mastroberardino Taurasi is synonymous with the wines of Campania and Southern Italy, then there is one wine that can sum up the wines of the Rhône Valley and Southern France — Château de Beaucastel. It is simple: Beaucastel is synonymous with Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and it has delivered classic renditions from this world-class appellation for five generations. And if you have to buy one wine from 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a historic vintage in the making, it should undoubtedly be the near-perfect Beaucastel. It is another one of those symbolic bottles that immediately recalls the wines of the Pope’s second home. In addition to being the most famous wine of the region, Château de Beaucastel is also one of the oldest estates in the appellation, dating all the way back to 1549, when the family’s first stake in the Rhône came to be and is generally the preferred trade favorite alongside Château Rayas. What we have come to appreciate in this wine is the signature higher percentage of Mourvèdre, which lends a more balancing structure to the wine.
We are not alone. The Rhône Ranger himself, Jeb Dunnuck, has just retasted the 2016 Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and he stated, “They are some of the finest wines in the vintage as well as ever made at the estate.” In fact, he compares the benchmark 2016 releases at this historic address to those of the classic and immortal 2001. We are now pleased to present the iconic wine from the structured vintage of the Southern Rhône at some of the BEST PRICING in the country. The once omnipresent wine and vintage is only available at a handful of merchants. It is a wine that can command up to $149 a bottle, and we are pleased to present this are just $99 when you buy six bottles or more. Just ten cases of this difficult to find release.
While we await the triumphant return of the 2016 Beaucastel, we are now including the new arrival from another historic name in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Brunel family’s winemaking history reaches back to the 17th century with the purchase of a vineyard plot to the north of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation from the Bishop of Avignon. We could not think of a more fitting expression than the signature, André Brunel Domaine les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape to include.
Feature: A Historic Release from Beaucastel and the Benchmark Vintage (Click to Order)
*indicates pre-arrival wine
As you may know, 2015 was, and is, a MUST BUY for lovers of the Rhône Valley, especially in the northern appellations of Hermitage, Cornas, and Cote-Rotie. Well, 2016 is an equally compelling vintage for the Rhône Valley, except this time more eyes are heading south to the appellations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Where 2015 was a good-to-great year in these regions and delivered generous fruit from the warm vintage, 2016 offers a level of richness as well, but with more tannic structure and balance. This is due in part to the warm days offset by cool evening temperatures and unusually large diurnal swings. This sentiment was echoed by Vincent Avril of Clos des Papes, who compares "2016 to 2010 and 1990," while 2015 he likens to 2005 and 1978. He says, "You won't be disappointed in whichever one you choose.” For IWM, we compare the 2016 vintage to the standout year of 2010 — we would add with a little more fruit. And for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the traditionally inspired wines of Beaucastel demand a place on the cellar shelf.
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
2016 Chateau de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Just as Bolgheri has Sassicaia, Campania has Mastroberardino, Barbaresco has Gaja - Chateauneuf-du-Pape has Beaucastel. It is simple, if you have to buy one wine from the vintage it begins here. As the 2016 vintage was more classic and balanced in Bolgheri and Bordeaux, the same can be said of the Southern Rhone. There is much more precision and energy here than 2015 for what is the most complete Beaucastel we have tasted in some time. On the palate, the wine begins with an awesome display of silky, generous fruit – a true mouthful of velvet. While many are quick to take note the blue fruit nuances, there is plenty of red fruit here – macerated cherries, kirsch, cassis, wild raspberries, herbs and salinity. The initial creaminess to the wine dissipates to reveal its energy and savory characteristics. It is an awesome expression from the Rhone that has a home in our selective French portfolio at IWM. The wine has vanished from the market due to the media attention, but we were so in love in with the wine we had to find more. Exceptional.”
Jeb Dunnuck: “Being bottled the day of my visit, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape checks in as a blend of 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties. It offers a ripe, sexy, rounded style that quickly shows more structure, minerality, and tannin with time in the glass. Blackberries, blueberries, smoked earth, violets, and garrigue all give way to a full-bodied, deep, structured Beaucastel that's going to benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for two decades. It reminds me of the 2001. One of the old guards of the region.”
2016 André Brunel Domaine les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Jeb Dunnuck: “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a classic wine from this heralded estate. Kirsch, crushed flowers, spice, and hints of peppery garrigue all flow to a full-bodied, balanced, seamless 2016 that has polished tannin, a seamless texture, and no hard edges. It's going to evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. The 2016 is a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and the rest Syrah and Cinsault that was partially destemmed and brought up mostly in concrete. Don’t miss this beauty. Andre Brunel has always been one of the benchmark vignerons of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and for decades now has produced an incredibly Provençal, elegant, and age-worthy style of wine. His 2016s are very much in that style and show terrific aromatics as well as balanced, seamless profiles on the palate.”