The wine world is a crazy place… more volatile than Britney Spears’ mental health and changing faster than her outfits. There are new producers popping up left, right and center with wineries trading hands, being bought and sold and being swallowed up by huge conglomerates.
Among the chaos however are those wineries that stand like a rock. Those producers who balance tradition and evolution, success and integrity. One perfect example of this is the Perrin family and the house of Beaucastel. Based out of the famed area of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern Rhone Valley in France Chateau Beaucastel has been operating for centuries and has become one of the most sought after and acclaimed houses in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Their top wines, the red “Hommage a Jacques Perrin” and white “Roussanne Vielles Vignes” are true collectors items demanding huge prices and massive scores from the wine press.
Beaucastel, now headed by brothers Jean Pierre and François Perrin, is much more than just their trophy wines. They have created several lines or brands that deliver outstanding value right from the inexpensive to the exhorbinant. The brands to look for are as follows:
La Vieille Ferme – http://www.lavieilleferme.com/-Thisbrand was started by Jean-Pierre and has become a huge success. Producing red, white and rose wines from the lesser known areas of the Cotes du Ventoux and Cotes du Luberon these wines, especially the rose, receive outstanding reviews and best buy designations yearly from the wine press. If your looking for a patio delight for under $10.00 then this is the ticket.
Perrin Reserve – This line features outstanding value wines from the areas of Cotes-du-Rhone as well as other regions of the Southern Rhone including Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Tavel and Côtes de Provence. Don’t let this flurry of names confuse you, just know these are all dynamite value generally ranging in price from $12-$25 and the reds are made of the primary grape varieties of the Southern Rhone including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, etc.
Chateau de Beaucastel – http://www.beaucastel.com/ – This is the top range of wines using only estate (meaning vineyards they own and farm personally) vineyards to source the grapes. There are the Coudoulet-de-Beaucastel red and white (generally around $30), from the Cotes du Rhone, which drink better than many entry level Chateauneuf-du-Papes. The Chateau de Beaucastel red and white, which generally run around $80 or so and are from their vineyards in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The 2005 Chateau Beaucastel red was in Wine Spectators Top 10 Wines of the Year in 2008 and requires another 5+ years of aging to drink at it’s best. The top wines as we already mentioned are the very expensive yet awesome “Hommage a Jacques Perrin” and “Roussanne Vielles Vignes” which cost around $225 and $115 respectively.
Whatever your budget or drinking needs any of the wines above are worth searching out and trying.