The wine of the vintage is the Perrin's 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin, and it will most likely merit a perfect rating in another couple of years. Full-bodied, massive and layered on the palate, with awesome purity and freshness, it delivers incredible aromatics of beef blood, truffle, graphite, iron and black and blue fruits. Given all of the fruit and texture, you almost have to hunt for the structure here, but trust me, it's there. The tasting at Beaucastel took place a 9 a.m., and even then, this is one wine I found impossible to spit. It's a tour de force that will have 3-4 decades of life.
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.
More rich and layered, with thrilling aromas and flavors of blueberry, blackberry, licorice, crushed stone, lavender and underbrush, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin will most likely be the wine of the vintage. Compared to the 1989 by Marc Perrin, it is full-bodied and massively constructed, with a deep, layered mid-palate, stunning purity and massive structure that's partially hidden by all of the fruit. It should be given a handful of years in the cellar (rest assured, it can deliver plenty of pleasure in its youth) and then consumed over the following two decades or more. Drink 2018-2028+.