For a quiet Christmas eve at home together, Linda prepared BBQ ribs and I pulled from the cellar this Châteauneuf-du-Pape as an accompaniment.
Domaine de Beaurenard has 32 hectares (2.2 acres = 1 hectare) of vines in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, 28 hectares in red wine grapes and 4 hectares for making white Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine.
The vines are located in 25 separate parcels with much of their Grenache planted in the Cabrieres lieu-dit. Domaine de Beaurenard also owns 15 hectares of vineyards in the Cotes du Rhone Villages, and 62 hectares of vines in the Rasteau AOC.
The vines are dispersed across the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation with plantings in the Beau Renard, le Bois de la Ville, Cansaud, la Cerise, Colombis, la Crau, la Gardine, la Nerthe, la Pied Long and le Pradel lieux-dits.
The estate tasting room sits on the southern outskirts of the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the main route leading into town.
Domaine de Beaurenard grows all 13 Rhone grape varieties allowed by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation (AOC) regulations for use in their red wines, the primary grapes used in the blend being Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and tiny amounts of varietals Counoise, Muscardin, Terret and Vaccarese.
Some of the old vines of Grenache date back over 100 years.
Domaine de Beaurenard is produced from a blend of 70% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah with 4% Cinsault, the rest of the blend is from assorted grape varieties sourced from vines that average close to 50 years of age.91-93 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, 90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and 89 points from Wine Enthusiast. The recent 2016 vintage release got 96 points from Wine Spectator.
Winemaker notes for this release: "Parcels of old vines 60-100 years in age, planted in soils of great character and complexity, provide the grapes for this wine. They are picked when fully mature and meticulously sorted by hand to further enhance concentration. These old parcels, in which different varieties are planted together, embody the symphony of 13 varieties, though Grenache predominates."
This is likely drinking at the apex of its profile and will not likely improve further with aging. This was dark garnet and inky purple colored, medium full bodied, nicely balanced black cherry, currant and blackberry fruits with notes of tobacco, toast, spice oak, black tea and hints of cassis and pepper on a smooth lingering moderate tannin finish.
RM 91 points.