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.
One of the standout tasting while I working in the southern Rhône, the Perrin family, now largely under the helm of Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu, continues to produce some of the top wines, at numerous price points, in the southern Rhône. Looking at this set of releases, the 2012s are incredibly strong, and given that, in general, the vintage was more challenging for Mourvedre due to water stress, I was amazed at what they were able to accomplish. The same can be said about their 2013s as well, and these wines transcend the vintage. The saving grace here is that Mourvedre excelled (truly special) in 2013. Another important point to consider is that the Perrins make multiple passes through each vineyard, sort again by cluster, completely destem all of the grapes, and then sort again. It's this level of control that allows them to get awesome concentration and purity in these more difficult vintages.
It's worth noting as well, this estate is increasingly investing in Gigondas, with ownership of one of the top restaurants in the area, L'Oustalet (don't miss a chance to dine here), a small set of top notch rooms that can be reserved, and ownership of the Clos des Tourelles estate there as well. I opted to include the Gigondas reviews here as opposed to waiting on the Gigondas report, but these are some of the strongest efforts in the vintages. In addition to these southern Rhônes, they've branched out to the northern Rhône as well, with their Nicolas Perrin label. Those wines will be reviewed in the forthcoming northern Rhône report in Issue 216.
In short, this is a brilliant portfolio across the board. Also, going forward, the name Perrin et Fils has been changed to Famille Perrin.
Pre-assemblage. Very dark crimson. Vibrant colour is almost black. Black olives and smoked bacon. Extremely vibrant on the nose too. Luscious ripe fruit on the front palate almost completely covers the tannins. Really quite remarkable. What a different wine from the 2011! Sumptuous. Drink 2016 - 2032.
This is also a great vintage for the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape. Beautifully rich and layered, with fantastic concentration and ultra-fine tannin, it delivers impressive aromas and flavors of dark fruits, licorice, mineral, and plum. Dense and rich, yet with perfect ripeness and bright acidity, it should end up being a classic example of Beaucastel and have two decades of longevity. Drink 2016-2032.