2018 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
At the moment, Beaucastel's 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape bucks the vintage trend toward open, expressive wines, seeming a bit closed on the nose and tight on the palate. It also shows a bit more depth and tannin than many of its peers. A blend of 30% each Grenache and Mourvèdre, with 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise and smaller amounts of other permitted varieties (including some white grapes), it delivers hints of mixed red berries and garrigue, a medium to full-bodied feel in the mouth, some dusty tannins and a long, mouthwatering finish. Give it another couple of years to soften and reopen, then drink it over the next decade and a half. Drink 2022 - 2037.
Joe Czerwinski - Wine Advocate (Dec 2020)
Deep ruby. Cherry, blueberry, smoky mineral and pungent floral qualities on the perfumed nose, along with spice and garrigue flourishes. Sappy and well-concentrated red and dark fruit preserve flavors show surprising and welcome energy for their depth and pick up candied lavender and spice nuances as the wine opens out. Closes very long and lively, with chewy tannins framing floral pastille and dark berry notes. Drink 2025 - 2035.
Josh Raynolds - Vinous
Very rich aromas of blackberries, chocolate and crushed stones. Some cloves and black pepper, too. Medium-bodied with round, juicy tannins that are soft, polished and nicely integrated into the wine. Delicious finish. Very drinkable now, but will improve with age.
Moving to the reds, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape showed nicely with a deep ruby/purple color as well as classic Beaucastel aromas and flavors of darker currents, blueberries, smoked meats, black licorice and roasted herbs. With medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, clean, elegant texture, sweet tannins, and a great finish, this seamless, elegant Beaucastel will be approachable in its youth, yet still have 20+ years of prime drinking. Drink 2020 - 2038.
Really pure in profile and alluring in feel, with cassis and cherry puree flavors seamlessly layered with melted red licorice and fruitcake notes. A dash of roasted apple wood underscores the finish, letting the fruit be the primary player. Subtle mesquite and incense accents are tucked in the background for now. Approachable, but no rush. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Vaccarèse, Terret, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Bourboulenc, Picardan and Roussanne. Drink now through 2038.
James Molesworth - Wine Spectator
A tight and compelling tannic structure, muscular and knitted down at this stage, rich and concentrated with blackberries and olive paste. Needs a few years, but already you can discern the floral aromatics that overlay the core, and this is going to evolve into a beautiful Beaucastel. Organic. Blend completed by 10% Counoise, 10% blend of Vaccarese, Terret Noir, Muscardin Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan Bouroulence, plus 10% Roussanne and 5% Cinsault. Drinking Window 2022 - 2044.
Jane Anson - Decanter