The 2018 vintage is characterized by exceptional weather conditions. Flowering took place in the best possible conditions, with a historically abundant grape output. A few rainy episodes at the end of the spring complicated things a little with an attack of mildew, but the good weather then settled down until harvest, which took place under idyllic conditions. The wines are beautiful.
The 30 hectares (74 acres) 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.
Each variety is harvested manually and separately, then sorted in the cellar. The harvest is heated to 80°C (176°F) (skins) and then cooled down to 20°C (68°F). Classic maceration occurs in cement tanks for 12 days. Pressing in pneumatic presses. Blending of the different varietals after malolactic fermentation. Ageing in oak foudres for six months.
- 40% Grenache
- 30% Mourvèdre
- 20% Syrah 20%
- 10% Cinsault
Tasted as a sample blended from several foudres, the 2018 Côtes-du-Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel features scents of sun-warmed stones and ripe raspberries. Medium to full-bodied, it’s plush and open-knit, already giving a lot of pleasure, and finishing zesty and long. - Robert Parker 91-93 points