Beaucastel brings back fond memories. It was the first wine box we sold when Winepine started 11 years ago. The beautifully decorated cote of arms design always takes me back to that time.
Chateaneuf Du Pape Beaucastel is among the most revered vineyard in all of Rhone. Not much has changed throughout the near millennia since it's land has been producing wine in modern France. Although the Beaucastel name wasn't truly established until the 14th century, it's quite likely that it's land was producing wine well before the 1st century. When you look at this wine box your looking at a tiny piece of recorded history.
Many of the ancient vines were destroyed by Phylloxera in the 19th century, but since the replanting a few decades later the vines were restored to their former glory. I purchased a few bottles of 2007 for a Thanksgiving party and they were finished in the blink of an eye. Although it would've been nice to experience wine from vines dating back hundreds of years, I can't imagine the legendary Beaucastel quality to be that much more significant during any period of time.
Sub-Region: Chateauneuf Du Pape
Production: 8,000 cases averaged among 5 different single vineyard plots
Grape: Makes both Rhone grape varietal reds and whites
Box design: Historic Beaucastel Cote of Arms engraved on the front side
Rarity: Fairly. Some vintages are made without wooden wine boxes
Crate designation: Collector's ($35.00)
Our opinion/history: Chateauneuf means "New Castle of the Popes" and Beaucastel was the first Rhone vineyard in which the Vatican acquired to make Sacramental wine. There's a deep and rich history of this vineyard that dates back 1,000 years or more, and most of the wines from the region pair well with hearty meats.