Robert Parker 96
Leading off the reds in the retrospective, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape hit a whopping 15.7% natural alcohol, yet doesn’t show a trace of heat in its gorgeous bouquet of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, Asian spice, cured meats and garrigue. This is followed by a thick, concentrated, seamless 2012 that has the vintage’s purity and rounded nature, plenty of sweet tannin, and a killer finish. Already hard to resist, it will cruise for another 15-20 years.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035
Jeb Dunnuck 95
Vincent is incredibly kind when it comes to opening older bottles and I was able to retaste the 2012 Châteauneuf Du Pape, which I think is an underrated vintage. It’s just now starting to round the corner toward its drinking plateau and offers lovely kirsch and blackberry fruits as well as plenty of garrigue and licorice notes. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and seamless, it’s slightly closed on the palate and will benefit from another 2-3 years of bottle age, but it’s a brilliant wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2032