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2012 Rhone En Primeur
2012 Northern and Southern Rhône En Primeur Offer
"The 2012 vintage is clearly of high quality, marrying an impressive richness with an appetising freshness. The best wines exhibit great harmony and impressive style, a style that is true to its origins."
Neil Sommerfelt MW, Jeroboams Buying Director.
For sure, a vintage of very good quality.
A positive surprise after the inclement and inconsistent growing season (i.e. cold & late spring, although flowering not too negatively impacted, some extreme heat spikes in August, and occasional incidences of rain in September). Great vigilance was required in order to minimise risks of disease pressure in the vineyards.
The main attributes of the best wines include a marked freshness as well as very pleasing richness. An excellent balance (harmony) in the final blends is a key and valid claim this year. Nothing to excess. Class and complexity in the top wines, for sure. 'Appetising' is an appropriate descriptor.
Whites especially good with the best exhibiting "typicité" and a keen mineral edge to counterbalance the luxurious fruit, but reds also offer huge charm, appeal and "pzazz" with very precise terroir expressions. Deceptively supple tannins and heady aromatics abound. A vintage not just for the medium term but also for the longer term thanks to the fine acid structure and finely judged structure. North & South both have their success stories. 'Shortish' volumes, in the south particularly, but generally OK in the north. Overall, though, the Rhone has escaped much of the negative climatic impact that is so prevalent in low yields elsewhere in France in 2012.
To quote Stephane Ogier...."For me 2012 is the best vintage of the last 5 years, after 2010." Many other growers were similarly pleased with the fruits of the labour.
The value, the quality and the opportunity to secure premium stock that the Rhone valley, both north & south, continues to offer is clear to see and as convincing as ever.
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