TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

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John Morris
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TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#1 Post by John Morris » October 17th, 2020, 9:30 pm

I got together with an old wine buddy for the first time in seven months. He's a Beaucastel fan, so I pulled this out. Purchased on release in January 2004 and in temp-controlled storage since. Decanted about two hours ahead, and consumed over three-plus hours with lamb tagine, roasted cauliflower and babaganoush. I managed to contain the considerable sediment in the bottle.

The flavors are remarkably fruity and fresh, with only a bit of tertiary development. Lots of sour cherry and red plums. To me it seems completely clean, but I'm pretty much oblivious to brett. The alcohol is conspicuous on the nose, particularly as it sits out, and there's a trace of ethyl acetate after a couple of hours. (The temperatures are moderate tonight, so even five hours after opening, the temperature of the wine is fine.) Compounding that, it's thin in the middle -- seems more like a grenache-dominated wine than one centered around mourvedre. Together with the prominent alcohol (mostly on the nose), it's not that exciting. Not really Beaucastel quality.

The lamb wasn't quite up the wine -- the Beaucastel might have benefitted from a sturdier dish -- but the wine is just thinning out. Seems like an aging grenache, though the fruit flavors are fresh. I'd give it 87.3. Pleasant enough with the right foods, but not that far above a first-rate Cotes du Rhone with 10 years on it. I've got one more bottle and will drink it in the near future. I don't see this going anywhere. Nowhere near as good as a 2010 Dom. Moulin-Tacussel CdP I had two months ago, which was terrific.
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Kris Patten
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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#2 Post by Kris Patten » October 17th, 2020, 9:40 pm

Great friend...open 1989, 1990, 1998.

Good friend.....open 1995, 1996, 2003, 2005.

Buddy....open 2001.

Hope we are more than buddies.

Actually surprised as 2001 was stellar a decade ago, surprised it faded.
ITB

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#3 Post by John Morris » October 17th, 2020, 10:03 pm

As I said, it was a little incongruous how fresh the fruit flavors were yet how much it was thinning out.

I should have mentioned that the acid is somewhat prominent, too, which is no doubt partly why it comes across as so fresh.

A number of people who've posted about it on CellarTracker this year have found their bottles fading, too, although many others have raved about it.
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#4 Post by David Glasser » October 18th, 2020, 3:18 am

I’ve had better luck with mine, and pretty consistent with 4 bottles over the last 2 years. The most recent in May:

2001 Beaucastel Cellared since release, perfect cork and fill. Dark red core, lighter at rim. Savory, earthy, floral notes, cigar wrapper, black cherry on the nose. Full body, great balance, savory and mature fruit on the palate, nice complexity, medium-long finish. May develop additional complexity over time but drinking beautifully now. Should drink well for another decade. Excellent.

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#5 Post by J B a s k a m » October 18th, 2020, 6:16 am

Thank you for your note, John.

Last had the '01 in April. It showed well. Up until then, I had had varying results from disappointing to just good. The April bottle gave me some hope that my remaining bottles could approach very good. Most of the previous showings did not have enough fruit, had little herb, and almost seemed hot. April's did not develop much after decanting and sharing through the evening; but it was a very tasty bottle with more pronounced dark fruits and a lovely finish. Fingers crossed for the '01's future.
- John

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#6 Post by Barry L i p t o n » October 18th, 2020, 7:18 am

One tasted early 2019 was very nice, one out of a 375 last December came across as too Grenache-dominated, even though i think it had a standard amount of Mourvèdre for Beaucastel (unlike the Grenache bomb 98 which never developed the complexity I was looking for).

Too bad as I have over a case of 375s.

Funny, this was never an issue with pre 98s. The 94s was lovely , never thought both 98 and 01 would be a disappointment.

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#7 Post by John Morris » October 18th, 2020, 7:59 am

David Glasser wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 3:18 am
I’ve had better luck with mine, and pretty consistent with 4 bottles over the last 2 years. The most recent in May:

2001 Beaucastel Cellared since release, perfect cork and fill. Dark red core, lighter at rim. Savory, earthy, floral notes, cigar wrapper, black cherry on the nose. Full body, great balance, savory and mature fruit on the palate, nice complexity, medium-long finish. May develop additional complexity over time but drinking beautifully now. Should drink well for another decade. Excellent.
I was struck by the perfect, long cork in my bottle, too -- no penetration up the sides at all.
J B a s k a m wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 6:16 am
Thank you for your note, John.

Last had the '01 in April. It showed well. Up until then, I had had varying results from disappointing to just good. The April bottle gave me some hope that my remaining bottles could approach very good. Most of the previous showings did not have enough fruit, had little herb, and almost seemed hot. April's did not develop much after decanting and sharing through the evening; but it was a very tasty bottle with more pronounced dark fruits and a lovely finish. Fingers crossed for the '01's future.
They make a fair deal of wine, so perhaps there is some lot variation, though I would guess yours came from the same case.
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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#8 Post by David Glasser » October 18th, 2020, 9:04 am

John Morris wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 7:59 am
David Glasser wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 3:18 am
I’ve had better luck with mine, and pretty consistent with 4 bottles over the last 2 years. The most recent in May:

2001 Beaucastel Cellared since release, perfect cork and fill. Dark red core, lighter at rim. Savory, earthy, floral notes, cigar wrapper, black cherry on the nose. Full body, great balance, savory and mature fruit on the palate, nice complexity, medium-long finish. May develop additional complexity over time but drinking beautifully now. Should drink well for another decade. Excellent.
I was struck by the perfect, long cork in my bottle, too -- no penetration up the sides at all.
J B a s k a m wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 6:16 am
Thank you for your note, John.

Last had the '01 in April. It showed well. Up until then, I had had varying results from disappointing to just good. The April bottle gave me some hope that my remaining bottles could approach very good. Most of the previous showings did not have enough fruit, had little herb, and almost seemed hot. April's did not develop much after decanting and sharing through the evening; but it was a very tasty bottle with more pronounced dark fruits and a lovely finish. Fingers crossed for the '01's future.
They make a fair deal of wine, so perhaps there is some lot variation, though I would guess yours came from the same case.
Were there batches brought in by different importers? I recall discussing that with respect to leakers/non-leakers from the 1989 vintage. It wouldn’t address John B's variability if all from the same case, but could be a separate variable. Have you had other bottles from the same case?

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#9 Post by J B a s k a m » October 18th, 2020, 2:57 pm

I had three separate purchases from different sources just after release. I did not note from which source any of the bottles opened came therefore cannot provide any information on prior bottles. Going forward I will. I have about 16 bottles remaining.
- John

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#10 Post by John Morris » October 18th, 2020, 6:00 pm

I believe that Vineyard Brands is the only authorized US importer. I just scrutinized the bottle for a lot number, but can't find one anywhere on the label or bottle.
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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#11 Post by ChrisJames » October 18th, 2020, 6:20 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
October 17th, 2020, 9:40 pm
Great friend...open 1989, 1990, 1998.

Good friend.....open 1995, 1996, 2003, 2005.

Buddy....open 2001.

Hope we are more than buddies.

Actually surprised as 2001 was stellar a decade ago, surprised it faded.
Uh oh. I have one magnum of 1999. Who do I open that for?

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#12 Post by brodie thomson » October 18th, 2020, 8:01 pm

John, sorry to hear about the poor bottle. We had a wonderful bottle of the 2001 Ch. Beaucastel back in July and it was really on song.

Brodie

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#13 Post by Warren Taranow » October 18th, 2020, 10:12 pm

Barry L i p t o n wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 7:18 am
... never thought both 98 and 01 would be a disappointment.
+1.

I bought cases of the ‘01 on release, and later back filled a bunch of ‘98. They were both fantastic for a while, then seemed to fall off a cliff. The ‘98 fared the worst. Multiple bottles of mine went from delicious one year, to tasting like a barbecue sauce mess the next. My 01’s behaved similar to John’s. They remained drinkable, but mundane. I think I still have some. If anyone’s a fan, let’s work out a trade.

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#14 Post by John Morris » October 19th, 2020, 6:09 am

Can anyone spot a lot number on any of their bottles? I’m curious where they hide it.
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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#15 Post by John Kight » October 19th, 2020, 6:40 am

J B a s k a m wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 6:16 am
Last had the '01 in April. It showed well. Up until then, I had had varying results from disappointing to just good. The April bottle gave me some hope that my remaining bottles could approach very good. Most of the previous showings did not have enough fruit, had little herb, and almost seemed hot. April's did not develop much after decanting and sharing through the evening; but it was a very tasty bottle with more pronounced dark fruits and a lovely finish. Fingers crossed for the '01's future.
My experience has been similar to yours. After trying this wine periodically over the years, it was consistently disappointing. I have probably 10 bottles, so had resigned myself to just "knocking them out" over time. Then I had a bottle just last month that far exceeded all the others I'd had over the years. It was a solid 92-93 pointer for me, and also still showed surprisingly primary in fruit (but with more noticeable Mourvedre characteristics than John Morris experienced with his bottle). I am not really a huge Beaucastel fan, and only went long on the '01 based on the fact that other CdPs from that year were so solid. (I'm just now finishing up my '01 Vieux Donjon, which turned out to be an amazing bargain....I believe it was in the $30-$32 range at the time of release). FWIW, I especially detested the '98 Beaucastel....I still have a bottle, and will probably just open it purely as a "data point" to compare to the '01 at some point.....

It may just be that my one bottle of '01 Beaucastel was an "outlier" given my many negative experiences with the wine in the past. However, it certainly gave me hope, and I will check in on my remaining bottles again soon.

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Re: TN: 2001 Ch. Beaucastel

#16 Post by Rob_S » October 19th, 2020, 7:51 am

Odd that they seem to be fading, I always felt that Beaucastel needed two decades to begin entering their drinking windows.
utherland

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