Moving to the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape, this is a vintage that's loved by Paul-Vincent, and one that he compares to 2005. Hitting 15.4% alcohol, it has gorgeous richness and depth, with the hallmark elegance of the estate. Kirsch, blackberry, licorice, spice and floral notes all emerge from the glass, and it builds on the palate with superb concentration, integrated acidity and sweet tannin. Paul-Vincent commented that he thinks this will close down quickly. Nevertheless its balance, tannin and overall equilibrium will keep it drinking nicely through 2032.
As always, I had a great visit with Paul-Vincent Avril, and he continues to fashion one of the most elegant and seamless wines in the appellation. Yields here remain absolutely miniscule, with 2012 coming in at an average of 18 hectoliters per hectare, and the 2013s even smaller, at a bankrupt inducing level of 13.5 hectoliters per hectare. His 2012 is certainly one of the shinning successes in the vintage, and his 2013 should also be outstanding, with a Burgundian-like texture and acid profile.
A stunner, with a gorgeous cassis aroma that sours from the glass, reinforced by a core of cassis, cherry and plum pate de fruit, hoisin sauce, warm ganache and well-roasted apple wood notes. Hefty but suave and seamless. The finish lets graphite and licorice elements glide through. The structure is dense, polished and perfectly integrated, resulting in lovely length. Should be a beauty after cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2032.
Tasted from multiple foudres, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape is stunning! Showing surprising depth and concentration in the vintage, with full-bodied richness and texture, all of the samples showed perfumed, complex aromatics, fantastic mid-palates and serious back-end structure. Less forward than the 2011, with plenty of oomph, it will most likely require short-term cellaring to come around, and have a broad drink window.