Vinous – 93
Opaque ruby. Highly perfumed bouquet of ripe dark berries, potpourri and sandalwood, with a mineral note adding vibrancy. Round and seamless on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry and boysenberry flavors and a strong jolt of candied rose. Quite suave and approachable, finising with solid punch, gentle tannins and lingering spiciness.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2025
Robert Parker – 97
The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is in the top 2-3 wines in the vintage. Possessing rock-star concentration and depth, full-bodied richness and loads of sweet tannin, it offers layers of ripe blackberry, graphite, licorice and toasted-spice aromas and flavors. One of the more powerful and structured efforts in the vintage, it nevertheless always stays balanced, graceful and light on the palate. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy bottles through 2027. This estate, under the leadership of Sebastien and Christophe Jaume, continues to be one of the reference point producers for relatively modern styled Châteauneuf du Papes. In addition to their top tier efforts, the portfolio is loaded with smoking values at just about every price point. I’ve listed domaine wines under Domaine Grand Veneur, and the negociant wines under Alain Jaume, which I believe might also include some vineyards owned by the Jaume family as well. Regardless, the quality here is superb across the range. In addition, they’ve excelled in both 2012 and 2013.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2027