Home > GoodDevelop, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews, VeryGood > A Return to Tasting with 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape

A Return to Tasting with 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape


I recently joined a very small group for a blind tasting of eight wines. While I was initially unsure of the theme, it was increasingly clear this was not a vertical, and by the end there was enough confidence to settle on a horizontal of Chateauneuf du Pape. I was, however, stymied at determining the vintage.

With nearly a decade of age, the 2012 vintage has produced some very satisfying wines. Some examples, such as the 2012 Domaine Grand Veneur, Vieilles Vignes and beautiful 2012 Domaine de la Janasse, Vieilles Vignes have a long future ahead. The 2012 Domaine du Pegau, Cuvee Reservee, changed tremendously over the course of a few hours. It is immensely satisfying in the end but perhaps it should be aged a few more years. The 2012 Domaine de Marcaux is my favorite wine from this evening. It stood out as an elegant, traditional wine during the tasting and continued to captivate until the bottle was finished.

Please find my notes below in their tasting order. Many thanks to the host who also opened a 1988 Chateau Climens to wrap things up.

#1 2012 Domaine de la Janasse, Chaupin, Chateauneuf du Pape

Plummy depths on the nose which is open with maturing aromas. Rich flavor of dark red fruit which turns blue and mineral by the middle. Though the tannins are resolving, there is still some grip through the spicy, finish with a touch of heat. ***(*) Now – 2026.

#2 2012 Domaine de Marcaux, Chateauneuf du Pape

Meaty with depth on the nose, lovely to smell. Fuller in the mouth, clearly evoking a traditionally mature CdP. While there is structure, it is also decidedly elegant. Lovely, with a savory finish and juicy aftertaste. **** Now – 2032.

#3 2012 Domaine Charvin, Chateauneuf du Pape

Stinky on the nose. Advanced in the mouth, tight, tannic, less flavor. Taste of a hot vintage. Seemingly not right. Not Rated.

#4 2012 Domaine Grand Veneur, Vieilles Vignes, Chateauneuf du Pape

Dark aromas. Concentrated flavor in the mouth with ripe fruit flavors, fine texture, and chewy structure. Shows well blind. With air cool blue fruit and a savory edge comes out. It might stand a few more years of ago. ***(*) 2024-2034.

#5 2012 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils, Cuvee de mon Aieul, Chateauneuf du Pape

Volatile acidity apparent on the nose. Better in the mouth despite the spritz. Red fruit, good core of lively concentrated red, ripe fruit but clearly flawed. Not Rated.

#6 2012 Domaine de la Janasse, Vieilles Vignes, Chateauneuf du Pape

Beautiful, tasty, and serious. Plenty of fruit with supportive structure by the end as the wine becomes tangy. Grainier tannins and acidity will support a long future. **** Now – 2040.

#7 2012 Domaine du Pegau, Cuvee Reservee, Chateaneuf du Pape

The greatest transformation of all wines this evening. It bears the most fruit which almost borders on sweet with ample weight on the tongue. The fruit drapes over the structure of ripe tannins which becomes clearly more apparent by the end. With air the flavors becomes incensed and perfumed then meaty in the finish. The demonstration of growing power point to the need for more age and a long future. **** 2024 – 2040.

#8 2012 Clos du Mont-Olivet, La Cuvee du Papet, Chateauneuf du Pape

Meat on the nose. In the mouth it is completely young but does show some red fruit mixing with garrigue into the long aftertaste. Needs time. *** 2026-2036.

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