Rhone 2012 En Primeur

Rhone 2012 Vintage Report

Following a poor spring and consequently a difficult flowering, the Southern Rhone enjoyed a dry, sunny summer. Ideal conditions prevailed at veraison but, by the end of August, a prolonged hot, drought was beginning to have an impact on the vines. Happily, the beginning of September brought some welcome, refreshing rains and the grapes had achieved ideal physiological ripeness and were in a healthy state, by the time harvesting began. Volumes are down by about 30% compared with an average vintage. The resulting wines exhibit great richness, freshness of fruit, exquisite balance and ripe, elegant tannins.

The Northern Rhone experienced a difficult, rainy spring and growers had to combat frequent attacks of mildew. However, from the middle of July until the end of August, the weather was excellent. After some rain in early September, the grapes were picked in dry and sunny conditions and were ripe and healthy. Volumes are down by about 20% overall. Although generalizations are difficult, some excellent reds have been produced - ranging from the dense, powerful and full-bodied, to wines with more elegance and freshness. Alcohol and acidity levels are moderate and the wines are well structured.

Some seriously delicious white wines have been produced throughout the Rhone Valley in 2012. They are multi-layered, fresh and elegant with lots of finesse and depth. The latest edition of the Wine Advocate was released last week, containing Rhône expert Jeb Dunnuck's much anticipated review of the 2012 (and 2011) southern Rhône vintage. The Southern Rhone has had a superb run of vintages over the past decade and 2012 is no exception.

Dunnuck, who has recently taken over responsibility for the Rhône from Parker, feels that 2012 surpasses 2011 in terms of quality and that the vintage has produced wines that are "rich" and "fruit-loaded". He goes on to say that "2012 was a sunny, dry vintage that should slot in beside, or slightly behind, 2009, in terms of quality... Coming closest, in my mind, to a lighter styled 2010, the wines possess pretty, dark fruit and mineral-styled aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness and good, not great, concentration... The majority of these will be approachable on release, yet have graceful aging curves as well, with the top releases having 15-20 years of evolution. Alcohol levels are down, and the wines have good to moderate acidity with fine, polished tannins and overall approachable profiles." He also states that 2012 is a great vintage for the whites: "showing beautiful purity, they're fresher than the 2011s... they will deliver immense pleasure over the coming 2-3 years."

View the James Nicholson Rhône 2012 brochure Here

Rhône Wine Week

Put the dates in your diary, 3rd - 8th November 2014. We are delighted to let you know that we are now plotting and planning and generally getting ready for Rhône Wine Week 2014. For more info please visit the website by clicking the logo below.

 photo Rhone_Wine_Week_zps8185c02c.jpg


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Rhone, France

Pallieres Les Racines 2012 Pk 6

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Pack of 6 x 750 ml Bottle Described by Daniel Brunier as "simply phenomenal", the 2012 Rhone vintage will throw up some fabulous wines. However, a period of intense cold weather preceded spring and was partly responsible for a shortfall in availability. Les Pallieres is situated in Gigondas, an area that shares many of the unique geological and topological features of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but whose wines are much more affordable. The 2012 Les Racines is deep and fresh on the palate with a hint of spice. Read More......
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Rhone, France

Beaucastel 2012 Pk6

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Pack of 6 x 750 ml Bottle The 2012 Rhône vintage is looking very promising with wines that are packed with fruit and flavour. As wine commentator Jancis Robinson considers: My guess is that, with the short 2012 vintage and burgundy in general becoming of greater and greater interest to Asian and American wine buyers, the Rhône will become of increasing interest to wine lovers everywhere - not least because the 2012 vintage was apparently very promising in the Rhône, too, certainly the southern Rhône. (Jancis Robinson Purple Pages, 12 June 2013).
"Beautifully rich and layered, with fantastic concentration and ultra-fine tannin, it delivers impressive aromas and flavors of dark fruits, licorice, mineral, and plum. Dense and rich, yet with perfect ripeness and bright acidity, it should end up being a classic example of Beaucastel and have two decades of longevity. Drink 2016-2032. 94-96 pts, (Jeb Dunnock, eRobertParker.com, Oct 2012).
A deep, free and varied nose. This is modern and rock'n'roll. Sensuous fruit and ripe tannins. 18.5 pts. (John Livingstone-Learmonth, Southern Rhone vintage report, Decanter May 2014).
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