2012 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1151378 97 points Wine Spectator

 A stunner, with a gorgeous cassis aroma that soars from the glass, reinforced by a core of cassis, cherry and plum pâte de fruit, hoisin sauce, warm ganache and well-roasted apple wood notes. Hefty, but suave and seamless. The finish lets graphite and licorice elements glide through. The structure is dense, polished and perfectly integrated, resulting in lovely length. Should be a beauty after cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2032. (J.M.)  (9/2014)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Moving to the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape, this is a vintage that’s loved by Paul-Vincent, and one that he compares to 2005. Hitting 15.4% alcohol, it has gorgeous richness and depth, with the hallmark elegance of the estate. Kirsch, blackberry, licorice, spice and floral notes all emerge from the glass, and it builds on the palate with superb concentration, integrated acidity and sweet tannin. Paul-Vincent commented that he thinks this will close down quickly. Nevertheless its balance, tannin and overall equilibrium will keep it drinking nicely through 2032. (JD)  (10/2014)

93-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Tasted in three components, from three different foudres, followed by a hypothetical final blend that Avril has assembled in its own foudre. #1 (80% grenache, 10% syrah and the rest "all the other varieties): Intense red fruit and floral scents, with a bright mineral overtone. Silky and fruit-driven, offering sweet raspberry liqueur and lavender flavors and a touch of white pepper. Spicy and precise, with serious finishing power. This is carrying 15.7% alcohol. #2) (70% grenache, 20% syrah and 10% mourvedre): Deeper and darker in character than #1, offering bitter cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors and a touch of licorice. A sexy floral note dominates the finish, which is smooth, focused and long. #3 (55% grenache, 40% mourvedre and 5% counoise): Exotic black and blue fruit compote on the nose, with a smoky note gaining power with air. Rich and energetic, finishing with excellent clarity and thrust. A hypothetical final blend: Opaque ruby. Heady aromas of dark berry preserves, potpourri, anise and spicecake, with a zesty mineral topnote. Juicy, focused and penetrating, offering sweet black raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a strong mineral undertone. Closes spicy and long, with smooth tannins folding smoothly into the fruit.  (1/2014)

94 points Antonio Galloni

 Opaque ruby. Smoky blueberry and cherry compote aromas pick up a peppery nuance with air, along with a suave floral quality. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, deeply concentrated black and blue fruit flavors and a hint of lavender pastille. Spreads out and becomes spicier on the juicy, penetrating finish, which is framed by supple, slow-building tannins.  (4/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 The final blend of this wonderful wine will be 65% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah. Vincent has made a Syrah-dominant foudre and a Mourvèdre-dominant blend to show 'my clients' how much better the latter is than the former. The Syrah does indeed rather suppress the delicacy and sweetness of Clos des Papes' Grenache which is so unlike most Châteauneuf – transparent and ethereal; only Ch Rayas regularly follows this style. Truly gorgeous and holds its (considerable: well over 15%) alcohol so well. 19/20 points.  (12/2013)

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Price: $109.99
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Rhone Blends



- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Specific Appellation:

Chateauneuf du Pape