Most likely one of the top 2-3 wines produced, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a rough blend of 80-85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre (which was harvested October 10) and the balance Syrah, that hit 15.4% natural alcohol. Seeing the same elevage as the 2011, it sports an inky purple color as well as spectacular array of black and blue fruits, violets, liquid flowers and underbrush to go with an energetic, seamless and full-bodied profile on the palate. Lighter weight than the 2007 and 2010, it possesses notable freshness, purity and elegance. It should benefit from short-term cellaring and thrill for upward of two decades. Drink 2016-2032.
Score: 95/98, Jeb Dunnuck,
Wine Advocate (209), October 2013
Up in the top handful of wines in the vintage (which should come as no surprise to anyone who follows this estate), the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, rich and layered Châteauneuf that doesn't put a foot wrong. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, it offers blockbuster notes of blackberry, liquid-violets, spice and serious minerality to go with awesome mid-palate depth and layers of sweet tannin. Like the Cuvee Chaupin, it will be better in another handful of years and thrill through 2027.
In case you haven't been following any of the Wine Advocate reports over the past decade, Domaine de La Janasse, under the leadership of siblings Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, is one of the top two or three estates in the Southern Rhône. In addition to excelling in the top years, this estate also excels in the more difficult vintages. Looking at their 2013s, these were harvested around the October 18th. They have uncommon depth and richness in the vintage, beautifully sweet tannin, and will certainly be some of the top wines in the vintage. The 2012s also check in near the top of the hierarchy.
Score: 96, Jeb Dunnuck,
Wine Advocate (215), October 2014