Robert Parker 90
A pretty, elegant and medium-bodied effort, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape (80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and the balance Mourvedre and Cinsault) offers plenty of black raspberry, toasted spice, licorice and hints of garrigue. A sweetly fruited, rounded and beautifully textured 2012, it has an upfront feel that allows it to drink nicely now, but it will have 10-12 years of longevity based on its balance. Brother Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio continue to manage this estate’s 55 acres brilliantly, and their wines are always some of my favorites in a vintage. In addition, they’re another Châteauneuf du Pape estate that’s investing in Lirac, which lies just over the Rhone river from Châteauneuf du Pape. Their 2012s are superb, and, while they fall short of what was accomplished in 2010 and 2007, they’re on par with the 2009s and loaded with character. While I would never turn down an opportunity to drink these wines in their youth, they age beautifully. I was able to taste the ’07 and ’98 Mon Aieul, as well as the ’05 Reserve des Deux Freres during my visit, and these are all thrilling Châteauneuf du Papes that are just about as good as Grenache gets. This is an impeccably run estate and you can’t go wrong here.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024
Bright ruby. Perfumed aromas of fresh dark berries, peppery spices and potpourri, with woodsmoke and mineral nuances adding complexity. Supple, expansive and gently sweet, offering concentrated raspberry liqueur and floral pastille flavors and an allspice quality that builds on the back half. Finishes pure, sappy and persistent, with firming fine-grained tannins.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2024