This blog is well-timed, coming after Richard’s condemnation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The wines are the Perrin Famille’s Coudoulet du Beaucastel from the 2010 and 05 vintages. They have a general Cote-du-Rhone AC but are recognised as being as good as, if not better, than most CdP, which this vineyard abuts. I bought the younger wine en primeur about four years ago, this being its first airing. Richard found his 05 in his sock drawer, I think, and sprang it on me as a surprise. A micro-vertical tasting, you might say.
The 10’s colour was intense red but with a smidgeon of a brick coloured rim whilst the 05 was a truly brown-edged wine. Evidence of alcohol was obvious in the 10 (it was 14%) and not so strong in the 05. I had decanted the 10 an hour before tasting; the action had stirred up the fine sediment, making it slightly dull. (The Perrins pride themselves on not filtering the wines)
The 10 had obvious sweet red fruits and, surprisingly, noticeable acidity giving it fresh notes whilst the 05 took some time to show its more muted fruits.
Both wines were very long in character, dry but with a well-balanced acidity/sweetness profile. There was a richer, licquorice palate to the younger wine which developed sloe fruit flavours about three hours after opening. Richard will add below how the 05 changed through the evening. Both wines were well-made.
The wines were patently from the same stable having the same characteristics. They went beautifully with rillette on toast at R’s and a piece of venison at mine. I’ve been underwhelmed by CdP and CdR before now, but these Mourvedre-dominated blends were impressive. I’ve got five to go – wonderful!
[Richard: I’d completely forgotten about my Coudoulet and stumbled on it by chance earlier in the day. Purchased from the WS as part of a mixed case in 2010 for £17. Opened and poured about 10 minutes before tasting. Both wines were very good and a welcome corrective to the full-on view of CdP that I experienced last week. Lighter, less alcoholic, more subtle. The ’05 continued to develop through the evening ending up as deliciously savoury with good length and a rich mouth feel. Wish I had some more.]