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2012 Chimere (Sine Qua Non & Clos St Jean) - Chateauneuf du Pape

FRANCE / RHONE / CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
abv 14.5%
  • 99 WA
  • Variety
    Rhone Blend
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SKU: 383283-2012
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 99

    We finished the tasting with the inky-purple 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape. A cellar selection by Manfred Krankl (of Sine Qua Non) of mostly Mourvedre, yet with a splash of Grenache and even some white varieties, it was aged in two new 300-liter French oak barrels before being bottled (in magnum only) unfined and unfiltered. It's a massive, masculine and structured Chateauneuf du Pape that needs to be tasted to be believed. Cassis, creamy licorice, jammy blackberry and crushed flowers are only a few of the nuances here, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, incredible mid-palate depth and a blockbuster finish that just won't quit. The level of concentration here surpasses just about every other wine in the vintage, and yet it never seems heavy, cumbersome or over-the-top. Give it 4-5 years and drink this spectacular effort over the following two decades. Hats off to Manfred Krankl and the team at Clos Saint Jean (Pascal and Vincent Maurel, and Philippe Cambie) for this incredible effort.
    Author: Jeb Dunnuck
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  • While the Northern Rhône is known mostly for single-varietal wines from Syrah or Viognier, the Southern Rhône is known for complex blends. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example, allows up to 13 different varieties in a blend leaving winemakers ample room to experiment. This variation makes it almost impossible to describe a typical Rhône blend. Regardless of style, the common goal of these winemakers is to manage high tannin and alcohol levels in order to produce a balanced wine.

    The most widely planted variety, Grenache, dominates most Rhône blends and adds concentrated spiced red fruit flavors with cinnamon, raspberry, and tobacco characteristics. Syrah and Mourvèdre add color and tannin, with Syrah contributing aromas of blueberry, pepper, and bacon while Mourvèdre adds dense black fruit flavors and gamey and meaty aromas. Cinsault provides red fruit flavor. For the best expression of this complex blend turn to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and classic producers like Château de Beaucastel, Clos des Papes, or Domaine du Pegau.

    Many New-World wine regions, particularly in California and Australia, have adopted this winemaking method. The best examples come from San Luis Obispo producers Saxum, Sine Qua Non, and Alban.

    The complexity and spice-forward flavor profile of Rhône blends pair best with herb-roasted turkey, pork chops, a range of cheeses, or spiced vegetables. 

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 28 bottles owned
    • 20 collectors