2012 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Brilliant ruby. Powerful aromas of candied blackberry, blueberry and licorice, with suggestions of lavender and cracked pepper. Lush, intensely flavored and supple in texture, offering spicy dark berry and cherry compote and olive tapenade flavors complicated by a subtle floral nuance. Finishes sappy and very long, with resonating spiciness, a hint of licorice and chewy, slow-building tannins.
The 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been blended and sits in foudre, waiting to be bottled. It shows the vintage profile beautifully—sleek, pure and long, with very refined structure that lets incense, blood orange, red currant and blackberry fruit play out, while hints of mesquite, spice and anise fill the background on the finish. It's remarkably silky for a young Beaucastel, whose high Mourvèdre component often results in it being one of the more dense and backward wines of the AOC when young. But don't be misled to think that means it will be an early-maturing Beaucastel; this has the density, poise and balance to cellar as well as the top vintages such as 2010 and '05. (Blogs: Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth)