2012 Chimère Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chimère, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France
99 Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate (October 2014)
We finished the tasting with the inky-purple 2012 Châteauneuf 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.