CHÂTEAUNEUF DU PAPE
2012 Les Sables de la Crau Domaine Jean Royer
|Village||Châteauneuf du Pape|
Possessing a tad more depth and richness over the Prestige, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Sables de La Crau is a rock-star in the vintage. Always from 100% Grenache and the sandy soils of La Crau, it gives up loads of black raspberry, wild strawberry, ground herbs, incense and dried earth. Full-bodied and layered, with an incredible texture that never seems heavy or cumbersome, this hedonistic beauty can be consumed anytime over the coming decade. An estate that continues to ratchet up the quality level, Domaine Jean Royer is run by the gregarious and talented Jean-Marie Royer, with help from the ever-present oenologist, Philippe Cambie. These wines excel for the sweet fruit, silky textures and overall seamless, balanced profile. I suspect they’ll age reasonably well, but they drink beautifully in their youth. Drinking range: 2014 - 2024 Rating: 94 Jeb Dunnuck - www.robertparker.com (Oct 2014)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Deep red. Highly complex nose melds ripe blackberry, cherry-cola, potpourri and smoky minerals. Intensely flavored and sharply delineated, with strong mineral spine lifting the sweet dark berry and floral pastille flavors. Shows an impressive blend of depth and finesse, along with superb finishing clarity and length and gentle tannic grip. This should be a beauty. Rating: 93-95 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Jan 2014)
Domaine Jean Royer
Jean-Marie Royer inherited his vines in 1985 and set about improving the grape varietal mix and the vinification from then. Since more than half of the domaine is in unclassified 'Vin de Table' or 'Côtes du Rhône', he has developed a marque 'Le Petit Roy' sold as 'Vin de Table' for everything that does not make it into the Châteauneuf cuvées. The Petit Roy has been a big hit in the shops.
His Châteauneufs are just gorgeous, and in the context of some of the Parkerised dottiness going on, offer refreshingly fantastic value for money. He has undoubtedly been much helped by his close friend the star oenologist Philippe Cambié, who he went to school with and also played rugby with for many years. Cambié is more famous for a full-on rather extracted style, but Jean-Marie has imposed his own, fresher, brighter style on all his wines, which are crunchy and well-defined.
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