Usseglio's 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee du Mon Aieul is a beautiful wine that comes mostly from three terroirs: Les Grand Serres (96-year-old vines) in the south, la Crau (78-year-old vines) in the eastern portion of the appellation, and La Guigasse (75-year-old vines), which is roughly in the middle/north central portion of the appellation near Rayas and Pignan. Coming from 100% Grenache and miniscule yields of 22 hectoliters per hectare (which is basically nothing), it offers gorgeous black raspberry, black cherry, herbes de Provence, pepper and Asian spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, silky, refined and elegant style on the palate. It's loaded with character, and while there's no Reserve cuvee in the vintage, this is terrific. Drink bottles through 2027. (JD)
Opaque ruby. Black raspberry, Indian spices and licorice on the highly perfumed nose, with a sexy floral overtone gaining strength with air. Red and dark berry preserve flavors show excellent depth and sweetness, along with an assertive spiciness. Supple tannins build on a finish that accentuates the floral and berry notes.
This delivers a juicy, brambly core of dark plum, macerated currant, fig and tobacco flavors, with notes of chestnut, singed alder and bittersweet cocoa. Warm stone and tar details underscore the finish. Shows ample range, energy and character. Best from 2016 through 2030.
Deep ruby. Pungent aromas of fresh raspberry, cola, floral pastilles and smoky minerals. Silky, sweet and concentrated, showing a supple texture to its sappy black raspberry and candied lavender flavors. A spicy quality contributes lift and bite but this is all about sappy, pure fruit at this stage. Luscious and seamless in texture, finishing with noteworthy punch, echoing florality and supple, late-arriving tannins that meld smoothly with the wine's sweet fruit. (JR)
Vineyard soil: galets, sand, clay-limestone. Lieu-dit: Serres, La Crau, Guigasse. 100% Grenache. 90% concrete cuve, 10% demi-muid. Mid crimson. A hint of overripeness on the nose -- very sweet on the palate, almost sticky! Very dramatic and would need careful food matching with all that sweetness and alcohol. 17/20 points. Drink 2020-2032.
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