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