In the great 2010 vintage (for only the second time ever), the fruit from this small parcel of old vines situated on the edge of the Beaucastel estate was vinified separately and matured, undisturbed, in a single 4500 litre foudre in the cellars at the Château for over six years. In 2017 it was taken out of the foudre and finally bottled. The wine is a vibrant ruby in the glass, with just a touch of garnet at the rim. Immediately expressive and expansive on the nose, there are notes of red and black fruits which give way to layers of nutmeg, leather, and sous bois. The result is a ripe yet savoury bouquet that is incredibly enticing. Thanks to the extended ageing in foudre, the typically firm tannins of the 2010 vintage have mellowed and integrated wonderfully into the ripe core of fruit, allowing brambly sweetness to shine through the developed leather and lightly gamey, peppery notes. There is a myriad of flavours through the mid-palate and onto the finish, aided by the smooth texture and vibrant acidity. The finish is long, savoury, spicy, fruitful and somehow both youthful and mature. A wonderful, unique expression of Châteauneuf du Pape.
Score: 94, Farr Vintners, January 2018