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Chteau de Beaucastel is located five kilometres south-east of Orange at the northerly limit of the Chteauneuf du Pape appellation. The 30 hectares Coudoulet de Beaucastel vineyard is found just to the east of Beaucastel on the other side of the busy A7 autoroute. For reasons that will become evident, it is often referred to as a baby Beaucastel. When one looks at the soil geology at Coudoulet, the similarities to the soil at Beaucastel are legion. It is composed of a layer of marine limestone from the Miocene period, covered by a deposit of alpine diluvium. This blanket of rounded stones or "galets" contributes much to the wines of Beaucastel: they retain the intense heat of the Mediterranean sun during the day then slowly disperse it to the vines during the night. They also provide a head start to the vineyard in springtime. During the long Mediterranean summer, lack of water can stress the vineyard at times. However, the resistance built into Beaucastel's vine stock from 30 years of continuous organic culture allow the vineyard to get through drought periods with little problem. Also, for the reason that the soil is porous and aerated, the vineyards at Beaucastel have developed root systems that penetrate deep into the earth in their search for water. Coudoulet as with Beaucastel, owes its ability to age to the large proportion of Mourvedre - about 30% - that makes up the final cuve. It provides a tannic backbone and resistance to oxidation that ensures long life. In addition, Mourvedre brings aromas of leather, tobacco, and spice to the blend. One should note also that the Beaucastel and Coudoulet vineyards are at the northerly limit for the cultivation of Mourvedre. [+]