A field blend from 80-year-old vines Grenache and Syrah in the fine Vinsobres appellation; the coolest and best southern zone for Syrah. This offers bright blueberry and bramble fruits; spicy and with a suave texture, there is a brilliantly crisp cherry character too. A resplendent and very fine tuned southern Rhône. 6000 bottles were produced.
Beaucastel is situated on the east side of Châteauneuf near Courthézon. The Domaine is owned by François and Jean-Pierre Perrin and consists of 70 hectares made up of 30% Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, with the rest being planted with the appellation’s ten other permitted grape varieties. In every way it sets itself apart from its local rivals; from an unusually low proportion of Grenache for today’s average Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer, to the unique thermo-vinification process involving a short intense burst of heat during fermentation in order to aid extraction of colour and flavour from the grapes while killing harmful bacteria. These elements, and the Perrin’s unwaivering determination for perfection, result in one of the Rhône’s most complex and long lived wines.
Côtes du Rhône Villages is a higher quality and much smaller appellation than that of Côtes du Rhône, covering more than 5000ha, producing mainly red wine. Yields are lower and the minimum alcoholic strength is 12.5%, the same for that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Whilst there are vineyards in the northern part of the Rhône, the vast majority are in the south. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape varieties of Grenache Syrah and Mourvedre are the main grapes used and are blended with each other to varying proportions depending on the individual wine. There are some villages that are allowed to add their name to the Côtes du Rhône Villages title: Vinsobres, Rousset-les-Vignes, Rochegude, St-Maurice-sur-Eygues and St-Pantaléon-les-Vignes in the Drôme; Roaix, Séguret, Valréas, Visan, Sablet, Massif d'Uchaux, Plan de Dieu, Puymeras, Cairanne, and Rasteau in Vaucluse, and Laudun, St-Gervais, Chusclan, and Signargues in the Gard. It is possible for these to be elevated to their own Appellation Controlee status, Gigondas was the first to achieve this, followed by Vacqueyras, then in 2005 Beaumes-de-Venise and Vinsobres. Cairanne and Rasteau are thought to be the two next in with a chance. Overall quality is a clear level above that of Côtes du Rhône and is much more consistent. There are a large number of high-quality, artisanal and innovative wine-growing estates in this appellation, together with many fine estates from the grander Châteauneuf-du-Pape region who also have vineyard holdings here. The top wines are to be drunk from 2-4 years after the vintage, but there are several good examples capable of ageing a year or two more than this. The area is, perhaps, one of the greatest value for money sources of red wine in France.