This is my all-time favorite Beaucastel. And this phenomenon of preferring a *lesser* wine is something which–although bling-bro will shake his head in disgust–happens frequently with me, and I have observed it throughout the ranks of the wine 1% too many times to count. It is honestly a great litmus for spotting the 1%. My favorite Ridge is the estate cab. My favorite Muga is Prado Enea. Almost EVERY time I visit a winery with multiple pinots, my preference WILL be the entry-level general-AVA’d bottle, NOT any of the heralded over-oaked “reserves”. And–speaking of Beaucastel–I have been vocal for decades calling my favorite Tablas Creeks the single-varieties and NOT the blends–especially Esprit. Coudoulet just speaks to my palate the way no other Perrin does. If your savage ego concerning sacred bottlings revolts to that, I’m sorry. But no, actually I’m not. You’ve followed me long enough to know I am not going to jerk off over a sacred cow that gets the Instagram clicks.
Dark, dense ruby right out to the edge. So young. So tight. Almost no aroma upon opening. Decanted heavily. Ever-so-slowly the grip lessens, and the wine unfolds, first as solid old-world cellar-floor and neutral barrel polish, then magically, fruit starts appearing, but nothing effusive: this thing needs YEARS. Pomegranate cheery dryness, blueberry vegetal isolation, tropical weedy bramble–all cloaked in a still, calm package obviously concentrated, but under a bullet-proof coffin lid. Peach nectar and licorice flirt around the edges, giving up a few secrets.
Drinking it again underscores the infanticide involved. But somebody’s got to do it. I’ll take the hit. Tart pie-cherry revolves slowly at the center of a grainy stew, no mustiness, no barnyard, a touch of brett, no Grenache-heavy indicators, a tree-lined drive down a long rock road, straight as an arrow, shaded dark and brooding. The janitor solving formulas. The brilliant child who sulks. The grocery-getter with a 6-litre. Mind-numbing tannins eviscerate the finish, the jolly but elegant spectre of berry laughing from the sidelines all the way. This is EXACTLY what you want a young wine to taste like. It IS drinkable in its current state, but man, you need a strong constitution. I love wines like this because they are absolutely oblivious to the 99 and don’t give a shit what they think.
2018 FAMILLE PERRIN ‘Coudoulet de Beaucastel’ GR/MV/SY/CN 30/30/20/20 CdR France 14.1