Wine Search

Include Futures

Wine Events Calendar

Stock Report - Winex Newsletter Archives

August 27, 2014

"Surpassing 2011 and producing rich, fruit-loaded and moderately concentrated wines, 2012 was a sunny, dry vintage that should slot in beside, or slightly behind, 2009, in terms of quality. Coming closest, in my mind, to a lighter styled 2010, the wines possess pretty, dark fruit and mineral-styled aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness and good, not great, concentration. The majority of these will be approachable on release, yet have graceful aging curves as well, with the top releases having 15-20 years of evolution. Alcohol levels are down, and the wines have good to moderate acidity with fine, polished tannins and overall approachable profiles . . . this could turn out to be a strong vintage." - The Wine Advocate (Issue #209)

This review sounds pretty noncommittal, which in a way reinforces our impression. Most of you may already know, we are very much about the vintage as a basis for making our decisions. Not every wine in a great vintage is great, and not every wine in a less-than-great vintage is forgettable. It's all about the odds. The hit ratio for great wines is going to be substantially better in a widely successful vintage, but there are always noteworthy efforts regardless.

We won't be cheerleading the 2012 vintage in the southern Rhône, which is why our rollout thus far is singular. Taking performance and prices into account in assessing the 2012s, we have only gotten excited about one of the 2012 Châteauneufs so far. The 2012s from Clos Saint Jean, from top to bottom, have performed at nearly the same level as both their 2011s and 2010s. This bottling from mainly century-old Grenache vines has gotten between 93 and 96 points from The Wine Advocate every year since 2005 (with the exception of the difficult 2008 vintage). The 2012 carries a barrel score of 92-95, which is only one point below the barrel score for their benchmark 2007 and 2010. That's consistency you see in few Châteauneufs, including the elite. How do they do it? Well, there's the usual old vines with low yields, which are constant in most top producers' programs. They also have the not-so-secret weapon of the Grenache-master himself, the esteemed Philippe Cambie.

Lavish, broad, and sappy, this is the hedonistic Cambie style to a tee. It's loaded with kirsch, Provençal spice, and potpourri. The 2012 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is a classically sexy effort from a producer that does it routinely. You read the vintage report, but we aren't trying to sell you on the vintage. What we are saying, however, is that based on the price and performance, this is an ample and delicious Châteauneuf.

score: WS 93
WA 92-95
IWC 90-92

add to cart $46.99   add a case $563.88

James Molesworth writes in Wine Spectator: "A dark, loamy style, with warm tar and espresso notes underscoring the core of black Mission fig, Black Forest cake and steeped plum fruit. Hints of juniper and singed alder add texture and contrast on the finish. Best from 2015 through 2027."

Jeb Dunnuck writes in The Wine Advocate: "Made from older vines and a tank-aged blend of roughly 85% Gr... read more
add to cart $46.99   add a case $563.88

read more
score: WA 94
IWC 92

add to cart $39.99   add a case $479.88

Jeb Dunnuck writes in The Wine Advocate: "More rich and layered, with fantastic notes of blackberry liqueur, strawberry, garrigue and lavender, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (85% tank-aged Grenache and the balance Syrah and Mourvedre, fermented with some stem inclusion) is full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and has pure, polished tannin framing the finish nicely. It’s a gorgeous, even elegant, 2011 that will drink well for 12-15 years. Drink now-20... read more


Our Archive Email Offers

08/27/20142012 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf: "There are few wines in the world I’d rather drink" - WA View
08/26/20142013 Germans: A First Look at Another Exceptional Vintage View
08/22/2014Last Call on these Well-reviewed 2010 Rhônes View
08/20/2014Bordeaux Big Bottle Bonanza + Winex Prices = Good Times View
08/19/2014Hill-Smith 2010 (WS 90, $9.99): Cool-climate Chardonnay at a Hot Price (Nearly Half Off) View
08/18/2014The Best $9 Viognier Around (it was $18!) View
08/15/2014French Champagne for $24.99? Oui! View
08/14/20142008 Bordeaux: "It is a vintage to buy" - Robert Parker View
08/13/2014Another Striking 2010 Chainti Classico: Monsanto Riserva (AG 92, JS 92, WA 91, WS 90, $17.99) View
08/12/2014Last Call on 2010 La Montesa (WA 93, $14.99): "Simply delicious and a great value" View
08/11/2014Stylish South American Value Cabs for Under $20 View
08/09/2014Weekend Update: The Spanish Value Shopper (Over 90/Under $30) View
08/08/2014One of the Last Great Bargains of the "Greatest Vintage": 2009 Maison Blanche Medoc (WS 91, $14.99) View
08/07/2014Riesling Roundup: A Look into Our Pantry View
08/06/20142011 Châteauneufs: "Charming, fruit-forward, front end-loaded" - Robert Parker View
08/05/20142009 Croix Taillefer Romulus: A Hidden Pomerol Gem View
08/04/20142010 Vietti Barolo Castiglione: "This is first-class juice." - Galloni View
08/02/2014Silver Oak Release Day: 2010 Alexander Valley Cab with FREE GROUND SHIPPING View
08/01/2014The August Stock Report View
07/31/2014The Bordeaux Shopper: Over 90/Under $30 View

Fine Wines Merchant, Wine Store, Buy Wine Online at

Privacy Policy   Terms & Conditions    FAQ    WINEX Blog