2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin Grande Cuvée


Two thousand and one is, without a doubt, one of this generation’s greatest vintages for France’s southern Rhône valley, producing an abundance of rich but balanced and ageworthy wines that are now either in their prime or entering it. Château de Beaucastel’s 2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin Grande Cuvée was a show-stopper on release in 2003 and was clearly among the top wines of the appellation from the outset. That continues to be the case now, with the wine heading toward its third decade and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Made from an at-the-time unique blend of 60% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and 10% Syrah, it is deeply pitched with alluringly sweet dark berry and cherry aromas and flavors, almost shockingly still on the youthful side. Nineteen years of age have brought with them a complex array of floral, spice, herb, animal and earth elements to its bouquet that are utterly riveting. Its finish, if you can call it that, shows superb clarity and strongly echoes the floral and spice notes while a subtle undercurrent of refreshing minerality keeps things lively. The strict tannins that kept the wine’s charms mostly hidden for its first 15 years after bottling have receded but not completely disappeared, so an hour or so of decanter time is advised. Those fortunate enough to have bottles stashed away can be confident that it has at least another decade of life to go, probably longer. 98/Drink 2020-2030.