2012 Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac
Wine Advocate #209 (Oct 2013)
Deeper and richer, with additional minerality, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac (100% Grenache) is a brilliant looking tank sample. Loaded with mineral-laced black cherry, black currants, spice-box, licorice and crushed flowers, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, structured profile that will benefit from short-term cellaring. It should be one of the longer lived wines in the vintage and have 15 years or more of overall longevity. Drink 2016-2027. While more known for his top-flight Northern Rhone efforts, Michel Chapoutier produces a bevy of brilliant Chateauneuf du Papes, as well as a number of high quality, value-priced wines from throughout the Southern Rhone (and Languedoc). Looking first at his Marius wines, these are straightforward, yet impressively made wines that offer easy-drinking. They also sell for a song and over-deliver. As to his Chateauneufs, he normally releases three cuvees, the La Bernardine being a blend and the Croix de Bois and Barbe Rac both single vineyard, 100% Grenache releases. Both 2011 and 2012 are strong here.