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Even More French Wines From the 2012 Vintage


Jenn and I had high expectations for the 2012 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques given that we raved over the 2011 vintage.  A first bottle was rather unyielding and obviously a bit off given that a second bottle was better.  It does not match the previous vintage but it is still a good wine for the price.  Perhaps the 2012 Domaine de La Pepiere, La Pepie  is a hipster wine given its cross between low-sulphur and Malbec but it certainly is an aromatic, flavorful, light wine.  I did not think much of the 2012 Francois Villard, L’Appel des Sereines, over the first two nights.  I thought it an unyielding wine without much to give but on a whim I tried it on the third night and it had revealed its potential.  Stick it in the cellar for a few years.  Another wine which required tasting over three nights was the 2012 Chateau Pegau, Cuvee Maclura.  It drank best on the third night after it had sat for a night with only 2 mm of cork pushed into the neck.  Something interesting might come from several years in the cellar.  Finally, several bottles of the 2012 Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Raisins proved good but not brilliant like the previous vintage.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques, Pays d’Herault – $10
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This wine is 100% Carignan sourced from 40+ year old vines of which half is fermented in barrel and the other half by carbonic maceration.  Alcohol 13%. There were harder flavors of raspberry and cherry fruit in a firm structure which moderates towards the finish.  There is a balance between the acidity and fruit with a little perfume in the balance.  A smaller yet complete wine.  ** Now-2018.

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2012 Domaine de La Pepiere, La Pepie – $13
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This wine is 100% Cot.  Alcohol 12%.  The color was a light to medium ruby.  The nose was aromatic with fresh, young fruit…a really good nose.  In the mouth was flavors of fresh young fruit, with tangy acidity that made  way towards a firmer finish with drying tannins.  The wine remained tangy with minerals and a little black fruited ripeness.  It was very finely textured.  ** Now-2015.

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2012 Francois Villard, L’Appel des Sereines, Syrah – $16
Imported by Elite Wines Imports.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 10 year old vines outside of St. Joseph.  It was aged for 10 months in both barrels and large vats.  Alcohol 12.3%.  The nose was scented with grape and pepper aromas before becoming perfumed.  The initial flavors in the mouth followed the nose.  It was a little inky in the middle with a pepper note throughout, eventually taking on vintage perfume.  It had pencil-like tannins.  A good young wine.  **(*) 2016-2020.

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2012 Chateau Pegau, Cuvee Maclura, Cotes du Rhone – $17
Imported by Hand Picked Selections.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault sourced from 35-60 year old vines.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 10 months in enamel tanks.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was of tight berries.  In the mouth were blacker red fruit which remained firm.  There were notes of stones, drying tannins, and watering acidity.  It was a little earthy, with a touch of both spice and savory flavors.  **(*) 2016-2022.

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2012 Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Raisins, Cotes du Rhone – $23
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  his wine is mostly Grenache with some Cinsault sourced from the domaine’s youngest vines being 5-30 year old. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for six months in cement tanks.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was youthful and delicate with aromas of berries and perfume.  In the mouth was slightly lively fruit on the tongue tip followed by some ripe berries at first.  The flavors became firmer towards the finish with more structure and some shortness.  Young? Still, a good wine.  *** Now-2016.

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