Offers a range of pure red fruit, with cherry, damson plum and cassis notes coursing along, seamlessly layered with graphite, red licorice and apple wood accents. Polished around the edges, but with a tug of earth lurking in the background. Latent grip emerges on the finish. Best from 2016 through 2030. (JM)
Bright ruby-red. Intense, spice-laced cherry and dark berries on the fragrant nose, with notes of licorice, spicecake and lavender adding complexity. Silky, expansive blackberry, cherry compote and succulent herb flavors become firmer and spicier with air, picking up notes of white pepper and allspice. Finishes silky and very long, with superb clarity and supple tannins. This gets my vote as the best 'basic' Châteauneuf bottling of the vintage. (JR)
A wine that performed better from barrel than bottle, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape is still an outstanding effort. Made from tiny yields and a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 3% Cinsault, it exhibits classy black cherry, damp underbrush, truffle and hints of herbs in a medium-bodied, fresh and seamless profile. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years. (JD)
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