2012 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Hommage a Jacques Perrin 1.5 L

Year: 2012
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 99
Vinous Media: 96
James Suckling: 97
Red Wine
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"Serious, with dark fig, black currant and blackberry confiture notes forming a large-scale core, while licorice snap, Turkish cof- fee and pastis details lend an expansive feel. The long, dense finish has a brooding personality now, with a warm cast-iron note echo- ing. Should be a stunner when it reaches its peak. Best from 2019 through 2032. From France. -J.M" (WS)

"The wine of the vintage is the Perrin’s 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin, and it will most likely merit a perfect rating in another couple of years. Full-bodied, massive and layered on the palate, with awesome purity and freshness, it delivers incredible aromatics of beef blood, truffle, graphite, iron and black and blue fruits. Given all of the fruit and texture, you almost have to hunt for the structure here, but trust me, it’s there. The tasting at Beaucastel took place a 9 a.m., and even then, this is one wine I found impossible to spit. It’s a tour de force that will have 3-4 decades of life.

One of the standout tasting while I working in the southern Rhône, the Perrin family, now largely under the helm of Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu, continues to produce some of the top wines, at numerous price points, in the southern Rhône. Looking at this set of releases, the 2012s are incredibly strong, and given that, in general, the vintage was more challenging for Mourvedre due to water stress, I was amazed at what they were able to accomplish. The same can be said about their 2013s as well, and these wines transcend the vintage. The saving grace here is that Mourvedre excelled (truly special) in 2013. Another important point to consider is that the Perrins make multiple passes through each vineyard, sort again by cluster, completely destem all of the grapes, and then sort again. It’s this level of control that allows them to get awesome concentration and purity in these more difficult vintages.

It’s worth noting as well, this estate is increasingly investing in Gigondas, with ownership of one of the top restaurants in the area, L’Oustalet (don’t miss a chance to dine here), a small set of top notch rooms that can be reserved, and ownership of the Clos des Tourelles estate there as well. I opted to include the Gigondas reviews here as opposed to waiting on the Gigondas report, but these are some of the strongest efforts in the vintages. In addition to these southern Rhônes, they’ve branched out to the northern Rhône as well, with their Nicolas Perrin label. Those wines will be reviewed in the forthcoming northern Rhône report in Issue 216.

In short, this is a brilliant portfolio across the board. Also, going forward, the name Perrin et Fils has been changed to Famille Perrin." (WA)

"Dark purple. Powerful aromas of cherry liqueur, licorice pastille and pungent flowers, with exotic Indian spice and mocha overtones. Dense, sweet and broad, offering intense black and blue fruit preserve, violet and spicecake flavors enlivened by juicy acidity. Fine-grained tannins build slowly through the clinging, appealingly sweet finish, which shows outstanding clarity and persistence and lingering florality. One of the standouts of the vintage and surprisingly approachable for this bottling, although drinking it before its tenth birthday would seem like a shame to me." (VM)

"Lots of spices such as cloves and black pepper. Some grilled meat as well. Complex undertones of mushrooms. Full-bodied, complex and refined yet very open now with cherry, sweet and ripe fruit and a balanced finish. Excellent acidity and length. Drink or hold." (JS)