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The 2013 Rhône Vintage – The South

 

 

 

 

Walking through the cellar at Beaucastel

 

The 2013 vintage in the southern Rhône was an interesting one, the interest derived from a period of very unsettled weather during the flowering of the region’s mainstay red grape variety, Grenache. The variety suffered to varying degrees from something called coulure, an affliction wherein the fruit does not form properly. Some vineyards lost 90% of the fruit in this way.

 

This is not necessarily, however, a bad thing. The wines of the southern Rhône have seen levels of alcohol rising steadily over recent years, perhaps aided by climate change. And it is Grenache that has fired these rises, it being prone to very high must weights when sun-ripened. 16%abv has become common and, yes, even at those elevated levels, the wines can be magnificent (one simply has to rein-in one’s volume of consumption a tad). But they’re not going to be especially refreshing in that state of ripeness; not the sort of wines that encourage one to have that last extra glass before bedtime.

 

Thus in 2013 the lack of available Grenache fruit has seen the elevation of the proportions of the other local varieties in the final blends, a reduction in alcoholic strength and perhaps rather more precision in the wines than one gets when the broad-shouldered Grenache in in the foreground.


N.B. I have yet to have an opportunity to taste these wines (the London Beaucastel tasting occurred during my trip to Burgundy, alas), yet these are properties with such long and impressive track records that I buy them every vintage. Indeed, they are the sort of wines one perhaps should follow every vintage to find the full range of expression of these historic domaines…I have included relevant tasting notes

 

The wines

 

 

 

 

Looking back to the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

 

Château de Beaucastel

Vintage Wine Drink dates Case size Price
IB
Notes Order
2013 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Château de Beaucastel, Southern Rhône, France 2016-2025 12x75cl £126.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Coudoulet de Beaucastel - MAGS, Château de Beaucastel, Southern Rhône, France 2017-2025 6x150cl £135.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château de Beaucastel, Southern Rhône, France 2018-2032 6x75cl £210.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape - MAGS, Château de Beaucastel, Southern Rhône, France 2020-2035 6x150cl £450.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Château de Beaucastel, Southern Rhône, France 2014-2024 6x75cl £234.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Roussanne, Château de Beaucastel, Southern Rhône, France 2014-2023 6x75cl £381.00 view tasting notes add to basket

Show all wines with notes in printable format

 

Clos des Papes

 

 

 

The cellar at Clos des Papes where one tastes various samples drawn from numerous large wooden barrels

 

N.B. Yield here was 12.5 hectolitres per hectare in 2013, which is borderline sub-economic.

Vintage Wine Drink dates Case size Price
IB
Notes Order
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Clos des Papes, Southern Rhône, France 2022-2034 6x75cl £264.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Clos des Papes, Southern Rhône, France 2022-2034 12x75cl £525.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape - MAGS, Clos des Papes, Southern Rhône, France 2023-2035 6x150cl £531.00 view tasting notes add to basket
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Southern Rhône, France 2020-2027 6x75cl £180.00 view tasting notes add to basket

Show all wines with notes in printable format