Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet Blanc 2020

Story

The wine
The 30 hectares of Coudoulet are located just east of the vineyard of Beaucastel on the other side of the A7 motorway. For reasons that have now become obvious, Coudoulet is often considered the baby Beaucastel. The Coudoulet soil has many similarities to that of Beaucastel. It is made out of Molasse seabed covered by diluvial alpine deposits. These pebbles called “Galets Roulés” play a big role: They take in the heat during the day and let it if off slowly at night which gives a good start to the vines in the Spring.
The vintage
The 2020 vintage in Southern Rhône was favoured by very good weather conditions, it is a generous vintage, both in terms of quality and quantity. Not as hot as in 2019, this year was very windy, throughout the growing cycle, with light rainfalls. After a fairly mild winter (one single episode of frost was noted during the night of March 24, but only the early ripening plots were very slightly affected). The spring was radiant, quite warm and very windy, which allowed the soils to preserve their freshness. Flowering began on May 18, under very healthy conditions. The good weather continued in June, July and August, with plenty heat but lower temperatures than in 2019, cool and humid nights and wind which continued to blow, preserving the freshness of the vines and maintaining perfect sanitary conditions for the grapes. The harvest, which was fairly early, therefore began under these very good conditions on August 26 with the white Côtes-du-Rhône and continued until the end of September with the Mourvèdre. September was warm at the beginning of the month and then more temperate, offering idyllic harvest conditions and allowed each plot to be harvested at perfect maturity. The harvest was very healthy with beautiful juicy and very ripe grapes, reasonable alcohol levels, good acidity and already a great balance. Yields are slightly higher than 2019 and the first tastings predict a very nice vintage.
Location
Within the Côtes du Rhône appellation, adjoining the vines of Château de Beaucastel, between Orange and Avignon. The vineyard of the Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc is 3 hectares (6 acres) in size.
Terroir
Miocene marine molasses with a layer of alpine diluvium (rounded pepples).
Ageing
Hand-picked grapes are collected in baskets prior to sorting, pneumatic pressing and clarification of the must, fermentation partially in oak barrels and partially in steel tanks. For eight months in barrels and steel tanks, before blending and bottling, without cold stabilisation.
Varietals
Bourboulenc : 30%
Marsanne : 30%
Viognier : 30%
Clairette : 10%

Advice

Serving
Serve lightly chilled at 10°C in a fine glass.
Tasting notes
Crystal clear and glimmering with green and gold highlights, 2020 Coudoulet White opens with a very fresh nose with captivating, particularly floral aromatics. In the mouth it is light, lively, and has backbone, with superb balance and a touch of acidity.

Reviews

92/100
"There's a gentle headiness, a slight exoticism to the 2019 Coudoulet blanc. A little banana to the pear fruit. Rounded, full-bodied but a good sense of freshness. The bitterness is a little more pronounced this year, but still works well structurally. Gently oily, but there's a keen steeliness even if the acidity is only moderate. Has some serious presence for a Côtes-du-Rhône. Also contains 25% Marsanne."
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91/100
"The 2020 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel Blanc is a beauty and offers lots of melon and pear fruits as well as classic spice and rocky minerality. Based on 30% each of Viognier, Marsanne, and Bourboulenc, with the balance Clairette, it’s medium-bodied, beautifully textured, and balanced, with the fresh, pure, elegant style of the vintage."
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