The 2012s Châteauneuf du Pape Signature is a seamless, graceful red that has pretty kirsch, blackberry, spice and garrigue to go with a forward, supple style on the palate. Made from 65% Grenache, 16% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah and 6% other permitted varieties, it has sweet tannin, a light, clean texture and keeps you coming back for another drink. Enjoy it over the coming decade.
One of the new superstars of the appellation, Julien Barrot’s Domaine la Barroche is fashioning some of the most singular wines in the world. While in the past he released a number of cuvées, the portfolio has been trimmed to just two wines, a traditional Châteauneuf called Signature, and an old vine, 100% Grenache Cuvée aptly named Pure. The Signature is based largely on Grenache, yet includes 10-15% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, and a splash of other permitted varieties. It sees partial destemming and both pump overs and punch downs during fermentation, and the Grenache is then aged all in old casks and the Syrah and Mourvedre aged, on lees, in 1-3 year old Burgundy barrels. The cuvée Pure comes from a single plot of 100-year-old Grenache vines, planted all in sandy soils, that are located at the intersection of the lieux-dits Grand Pierre, Rayas and Pointu. Vinified all in concrete tank, with partial destemming and only seeing pump overs during fermentation, it spends 18 months in a single old foudre prior to bottling. While these 2012s and 2013s are a step back from some of the top efforts from this estate, they’re all rock-solid in the vintages and highly recommended. Score: 91 points -- Wine Advocate, Oct 2014
Deep ruby. Heady spice-accented blackberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suave floral and spice qualities, with white pepper and licorice nuances emerging with air. Seamless, broad and sweet in the mouth, offering silky black and blue fruit preserve flavors and a hint of allspice. Closes juicy and long, with slow-building tannins and lingering spiciness. Score: 92 points -- Vinous, Apr 2015
Winemaker's Note: The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Signature (same blend and elevage as the 2011) is medium bodied, elegant and focused, with sweet black raspberry, candied flowers and spice aromas and flavors. It should gain a smidge more weight once bottled and have 10-12 years of longevity.