2015 Domaine de Beaurenard, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone Valley, France.
The famed and historic Paul Coulon winery Domaine de Beauregard dates back to 1695 with brothers Daniel and Frederic Coulon now running this old Chateauneuf-du-Pape house along with the next generation Daniel’s son Victor now playing a bigger role and who I met recently at a trade tasting in Carmel, who was pouring the latest of his family’s wonderful wines. Beaurenard crafts two Chateauneuf whites and two Chateauneuf reds along with a distinct Rasteau Rouge and a great value Cotes du Rhone that always over delivers in quality, these are very intriguing and expressive wines on par with names like Vieux Telegraphe and even Beaucastel! The Beaurenard (The Beautiful Fox) estate with only 4 hectares of white varietals has been a top producers of Chateauneuf Blanc, and been making it at a top level since at least 1929, using a selection of about 30% Clairette, 20% Grenache Blanc, 25% Bourboulenc, 22% Roussanne and a tiny amount of both Picpoul and Picardan that makes up to 3% of the final blend. This 2015 is bright and vibrant at first with succulent and tangy apricot/peach, tangerine/citrus, unripe green apple with hints of jasmine, clove/spice and wet stones that all makes for an elegant a classy white with a mineral essence and a seamlessly flowing palate that expands to a medium body with sublime lightly leesy mouth feel. The warm vintage, contrary to perceived ideas, picked at perfect ripeness with good acidity still in the grapes is lively/fresh and the cool fermentations and no malolactic as well as short vat and barrel time before bottling really keeps this lovely Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc thrillingly vivid and refreshing. This complex and easy to love Domaine de Beaurenard Blanc gives a lot of joyous pleasure and is a great alternative to Chardonnay or White Burgundy offering enough grace and richness to impress any wine lover, drink from 2018 to 2022.
($45 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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