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. (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. (JM)
Deep ruby. Dark berries, incense, candied flowers and minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Offers sweet black raspberry and lavender flavors that become spicier with aeration. Fine-grained and sappy, with excellent finishing clarity and smooth, harmonious tannins adding grip. This sexy Chateauneuf will likely be delicious soon after release, but it has the concentration to strongly suggest that patience will be rewarded.
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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