2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Giraud

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Giraud

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Domaine Giraud | Code: 23976 | 2012 | France > Rhône > Chateauneuf du Pape | Southern Rhône Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 15.0 % alcohol

Prices: 

Bottle £38.00

Case price (12) £410.40

Case saving £45.60

Bottle 6 x 75cl

19cs

£158.46

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Scores and Reviews

WA

92-94/100

WA - Still in tank, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition has plenty of floral, herb and underbrush notes to go with a core of sweet berry fruit. Medium to full-bodied, rich and textured, with ultra-fine tannin, it should be accessible in its youth yet have a solid 12-15 years drink window. Drink 2015-2027.

This is a terrific lineup of wines by the brother and sister team of Marie and Francois Giraud. Their 2011s are certainly near the top of the vintage, with the 2012s looking just as good. In addition to releasing stunning reds, this estate always produces a terrific white. Marie produced three red Chateauneufs in 2012, with no Les Gallimardes due to the tiny quantity. During my tasting, Marie commented on the rain in late September and the difficulty in deciding when to pick. Opting to wait until after the rain for the majority of their plots, this spread the harvest out over five weeks as opposed to the normal two weeks.
Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013

The Story

Domaine Giraud

Producer

Domaine Giraud

Domaine Giraud is new to our list this year. Having espied an impressive progression over the last three years, we feel that the 2009 has progressed even further. Marie Giraud is the talented winemaker and advice from the larger-than-life consultant Monsieur Philippe Cambie has brought the property to the boil. The biodynamic approach to viticulture was more than a match, it seems, for the intense heat of high summer, when moisture was at a premium.

Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

Region

Chateauneuf du Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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