This blazes along, with a riveting iron note running from start to finish, keeping the red currant, damson plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit racy and defined. Shows terrific cut through the finish, revealing extra tar and ganache hints for textural nuance. Very long. Best from 2018 through 2030. From France.—J.M.
96 points: M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Méal 2012
A nice bass line plays here, featuring dark currant, fig and blackberry confiture notes that have melded already with a broad swath of warm charcoal and ganache. Impressive, loamy grip holds the finish, though this will needs a few years to stretch out fully. Best from 2018 through 2030. From France.—J.M.
96 points: M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée 2012
Nicely saturated from core to edge, with bramble, singed bay and espresso notes weaving around blackberry, black currant and fig paste flavors. The finish is tarry in feel, but dark olive, warm stone and smoldering tobacco accents add extra range and texture, too. A rock-solid offering. Best from 2018 through 2030. From France.—J.M.
96 points: M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 2012
This has terrific energy, with zesty loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry coulis flavors, pushed by a grippy dark ganache note. Bramble and anise accents fill the background, with a long, racy, acidity-driven finish that lets the fruit play out wonderfully. Should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030. From France.—J.M.