- Rating: 80 out of 100
- Tasting Fee: $0
- Accepts Reservations: Yes
- Reservation Required: false
Not every tasting experience is going to be amazing. The positive way to look at it is that it helps to emphasize the other places that you did like… All things considered, I think Domaine de Beaurenard was my least favorite tasting in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Granted, I did not make an appointment, but I was also the only visitor at the winery when I arrived. There was a tasting tour group (one of those that you can purchase/schedule online that originates from Avignon) that came in 30 minutes after me, but even then the guide did most of the talking rather than the winery ambassador. I learned more from him than I did from my tasting and the notes provided about the winery. The wines were also a bit austere compared to others. You win some, you lose some!
Domaine de Beaurenard is right off one of the main streets that runs around Châteauneuf. It runs south of the town and then east of it, up to Domaine Roger SABON and beyond. It is also right next to the wine museum in town, so I would expect it to get decent foot and car traffic. The wine museum was a bit underwhelming compared to those in other regions of France, so I would understand why people may not travel down this way much. I had just finished reading up on some history of the area at the museum after lunch, so I was ready for more wine.
When I visited and tasted through the wines, I was treated with a mild neglect, as each wine was poured without much explanation to the background of the wine, what the winery hoped to achieve with each one, and why each bottling was different/interesting. I don’t think it was the language barrier either as I am pretty sure that the wine ambassador spoke English well. I admit that if the wines were fantastic, then I would’ve been glad to be left to my own devices. But while the blanc was entertaining, the other two reds felt too young, a bit austere, and not ready for tasting. I understand the 2016 vintage was excellent and these two could be excellent in a few years, but I don’t think it was the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape has to offer.
- 2017 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (35€)
- Majority of Clairette and Rousanne but is blended with all 6 white varieties of the AOC. On the nose, bright white peaches, white flowers, and some wood aromas as well. The flavor profile on the palate emulated the aromas, except there was a zestiness present that seemed to come from the minerality. Medium(+) acid with a shorter finish. Nice to drink on a hot day, especially when paired with some food because of that zest, but seemed a little lacking on its own for the pricepoint.
- 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge (35€)
- GSM majority blend with the rest of the 13 AOC-designate varieties appearing in lower quantities, similar to how Clos Des Papes includes the broad spectrum of varieties in their blends. The grapes here come from clay/sand/stone terroirs that make biodynamic farming possible. Give this wine at least 3 hours to breath or lay it down for 3-5 years. Red fruit on the nose (cherry/strawberry) but medium intensity and medium brightness of fruit. The palate has a lot of hard tannin making the flavors difficult to feel out, but the spice is more white and red than black pepper. The high, rough tannin and lower intensity of flavors make this wine a little difficult to enjoy now, but it could definitely be interesting given that 3-5 years.
- 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard (55€)
- Low quantity production wine made from ancient vines over 100 years old. The varietal composition is unknown because the vines were co-planted together in the vineyard in those days as a form a risk management to ensure there were at least some yields each year, no matter the conditions. The nose is bigger, more complex and jammy than the CdP Rouge. That impression carries over to the palate - more red fruit, but also more complexity from earth, old wood, thyme, and some light spice notes. Like the first red, this wine needs time to round out and integrate more, but there is definitely potential, especially if you prefer lighter styled wines that reflect the terroir. At this pricepoint, it was hard for me to take the leap of faith on a bottle without tasting older vintages so see how they’ve traditionally aged.
There is no doubt that the wines could become much more interesting and approachable in a few years, but it was a little difficult to enjoy them now. If the wines sound interesting enough to try, please do! If anyone has older vintages of this wine that have come around beautifully, I would love to know! Tough in the meantime, I’ll likely stick to places closer aligned to my palate, preferences, and expectations of tasting hospitality. Cheers!
Rating: 80 out of 100