The 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin is similar to the base cuvée yet has slightly more elegance and complexity, as well as structure. Coming from a cooler terroir in the northern part of the appellation and made from 100% Grenache, its ruby/purple color is followed by perfumed notes of spring flowers, violets, and licorice, and it has a beautiful core of sweet Grenache fruit. With medium to full-bodied richness, terrific purity and a great finish, it too is perfect for drinking over the coming decade or more.
The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin, which I was able to taste (and drink) from multiple bottles, is a beautiful Grenache that comes from the cooler, northeastern edge of the appellation. Coming almost all from the Chapouin lieu-dit (it gets a small bit from La Janasse), it gives up the classic notes of black berries, spring flowers, violets, and licorice that I always seem to find in this cuvee. Building nicely on the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, has tons of sweet fruit and solid, if not firm, tannin that come out on the finish. It will be better in another couple of years and have 15+ years of overall longevity. In case you haven’t been following any of the Wine Advocate reports over the past decade, Domaine de La Janasse, under the leadership of siblings Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, is one of the top two or three estates in the Southern Rhône. In addition to excelling in the top years, this estate also excels in the more difficult vintages. Looking at their 2013s, these were harvested around the October 18th. They have uncommon depth and richness in the vintage, beautifully sweet tannin, and will certainly be some of the top wines in the vintage. The 2012s also check in near the top of the hierarchy. (JD)
Dense but refined, showing layers of fig, boysenberry and blackberry paste offset with notes of anise, fruitcake, allspice, mulled plum and black tea. Exhibits a silky feel through the finish, with lots of sneaky length as an iron accent lingers gracefully. Best from 2015 through 2030. (JM)
Vivid red. Expansive spice- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe black raspberry and blueberry, along with white pepper and woodsmoke nuances. Stains the palate with intense red and dark berry flavors, showing a suave blend of power and vivacity, with juicy acidity adding lift and bite. Supple tannins give shape and clarity to the long, spicy, fruit-dominated finish. (JR)
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