95pts Wine Enthusiast
One of the big names of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this wine justifies the fame of the Perrin family's property. It is a rich style, but, more importantly, it is beautifully made, structured, dense, with red jelly fruits, a touch of vanilla and a fat, full-bodied, but firm aftertaste. This is a wine for aging—give it at least five years before touching it. Imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. ROGER VOSS
94pts Wine Spectator
Young and tight, with garrigue and roasted game aromas peeking out from a core of ripe black currant, plum and fig fruit. Lots of toast tobacco and iron as well. The finish is well-endowed with tannins, but they are ripe and pure. Best from 2008 through 2025. 15,000 cases made, 3,855 cases imported. — JM
93pts Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep, dense red color. Vibrant aromas of aromas of cherry, wild herbs, fresh flowers and minerals. Energetic and sweet, showing no overripe qualities; offers a silky, suave texture and wonderfully pure red berry, fresh plum, kirsch and fig flavors. Those with an aversion to the funky, gamey character that can characterize Beaucastel in "typical" vintages owe it to themselves to check this out. Clearly, the Perrins know what to do with grenache, even if it's not their favorite grape. (JR)
90pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the weaker vintages for this estate yet still outstanding, the 2003 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape delivers a surprisingly fresh profile, yet ten years after the vintage, it is entering the early stages of maturity. Loaded with red and black currants, iron, beef blood, rolled stone and garrigue on the nose, with no roasted fruit or over ripeness, it shines on the palate with excellent depth and richness. Medium to full-bodied, supple and integrated, with plenty of ripe fruit, it should continue to evolve for a handful of years. Consume it over the coming decade, max.
The vineyard is a patchwork of all 13 permitted grape varieties, 70 hectares in all. The soil is the same porous, aerated blanket of Alpine diluvium (rounded stones) on a base of Miocene marine limestone that exists elsewhere on the estate. The vines are on average 50 years old and yields are never more than 30 hectolitres per hectare and often much less. It is a vibrant and healthy vineyard due to years of organic cultivation and close monitoring of the needs of each vine.
The red wine of Beaucastel as with Coudoulet de Beaucastel is a structured, intense yet lean drink, thanks in part to the large percentage of Mourvedre - about 30% - in the final cuvée. Its austere tannic backbone and resistant to oxidation help Beaucastel age gracefully.