The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum is a singular wine and comes from a small plot of ancient Grenache vines that are located on the famed La Crau lieu-dit, on the eastern edge of the appellation, near Vieux Télégraphe. It offers an insane bouquet of cassis, kirsch and black raspberry intermixed with sweet licorice, toasted spice and ground pepper that’s to die for. This is followed by a massive, full-bodied, seamless wine that has building tannin, no hard edges and a finish that won’t quit. The only problem here is that it’s almost impossible to get your hands on a bottle (there are roughly 200 magnums to go around). It’s certainly in the same ballpark as the 2009 and 2010, and will have two decades of longevity, although it should be firing on all cylinders in 5-6 years. (JD)
Intense and powerfully rendered, with warm ganache, smoldering tobacco leaf, espresso, fig paste and macerated black currant notes all rolled together, while a licorice root accent bolts the finish down. Displays incredible range and remains thoroughly distinctive. Bottled in magnum format only. Best from 2017 through 2034 (JM)
Saturated ruby. Explosive aromas of red fruit preserves, sandalwood, potpourri and cola, with a strong spicy overtone. Offers palate-coating raspberry and cherry compote flavors and suggestions of vanilla, spicecake and floral pastilles. Reaches every corner of the palate, displaying superb clarity and a seamless texture. Finishes sweet, broad and long, with supple tannins and an echo of candied lavender. (JR)
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