Mourvedre has always been no more than a component within the blend of myriad varieties that is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, playing second, third or fourth fiddle to Grenache – considered too dominant and austere for it to feature prominently itself. However we are increasingly finding that our favourite Châteauneufs have more than a little dollop of Mourvedre in the blend, to which it can add vitality, definition and backbone. When grown in the right way, on suitable terroir and allowed to ripen fully Mourvedre can be, surprisingly, as textured and refined as it is racy and structured, even when tasted on its own during the ageing process.
No greater proof of Mourvedre’s capabilities is Beaucastel’s Hommage a Jacques Perrin. We are delighted to release the glorious, pulsating 2012.
2012 is a great Châteauneuf vintage and this does the year every bit of justice, surly dark fruit, liquorice and star anise spice on the nose, the palate is deep and concentrated yet bright and gloriously uplifting. Clean, clear cut flavours that are not as big or heavy as you might expect from top Châteauneuf cuvee in a top year and all the better for it, wonderfully fresh, peppery dark and red berry fruits, there is a gentle sweetness but is not at all cloying. This is a real beauty with a seamless power and energy pulsating right the way through it.
A blend of 60% Mourvedre with the rest made up of Grenache and Syrah, Hommage is the result of a careful vineyard selection of Beaucastel’s best fruit, always with the Mourvedre element dominating the blend, but not necessarily from the same plot every year. A maximum of 400 cases are made annually. The wine is aged, like Beaucastel, in large old wooden foudres but for 8 months longer than Beaucastel itself.