2012 M. Chapoutier "Barbe Rac" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

SKU #1232368 96 points Wine Spectator

 This delivers stunningly pure fruit, with silky layers of raspberry, boysenberry and blackberry coulis that cascade over each other, backed by subtle dried anise and warm ganache notes. Very concentrated but not hefty, this sails through the finish, with a perfectly embedded graphite spine and a long echo of lavender. Best from 2018 through 2032. From  (1/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac is brilliant, and checks in near the top of the vintage. Made from 100% Grenache, it gives up loads of kirsch, sweet black cherries, crushed flowers and spice aromatics. Full-bodied, beautifully structured, with building tannin and a seamless, layered feel, it can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 10-12 years. There are only 850 cases, and as always, elegance and balance are the name of the game here. (JD)  (10/2014)

92-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full ruby. Deeper and more brooding than the Croix de Bois. Displays intense dark berry, cherry, anise and black cardamom scents, along with notes of dried flowers and smoky minerals. Powerful but lively as well, offering gently sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors and a touch of orange pith. Finishes smooth, broad and long, with building spiciness and excellent clarity.  (1/2014)

93 points Vinous

 Full ruby. Deeply pitched aromas of dark fruit preserves, incense and smoky Indian spices, with a mineral element adding vivacity. Stains the palate with intense black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, with a spicy element providing lift. Sappy and pliant on the finish, which hangs on with noteworthy tenacity and building sweetness.  (4/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Very deep and complex. The roundness of Grenache with many extra layers. Really rather gorgeous. You could almost enjoy this now! I did not spit it, though it was wine number 69 of 80. Burly but really interesting. 18.5/20 points.  (11/2013)

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Varietal:

Grenache

- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- 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