The 2012 Sampler: Our Favorite 7-Year-Old Reds

The 2012 vintage in France turned out excellent wines. In Burgundy, the growing conditions were abysmal – everything from hail to frost to mildew contributed to a crop down as much as 50%. But the quality remained high, and the tiny crop created “lucious” and “thrilling” reds (Vinous).

Winemakers in the Rhône Valley may not have worked as hard, but their results were just as exciting. A warm, dry summer and aebundant (but not too much) sunshine turned out beautiful reds with dense character and excellent mid-term aging potential.

The last seven years have done wonders for these wines, and so we’ve collected six of our favorites into a sampler: 3 red Burgundies and 3 red Rhônes, all from 2012.

Amiot MSD 1er “Millandes” 2012
Nose is woodsy and perfumed, with lovely notes of anise and cinnamon. The mouth is perfectly balanced, with reserved tannins underlying a round, elegant, mouthfilling palate. Burghound gave 91 points finding it “outstanding,” “lovely,” “supple,” and “well-detailed.”

Varoilles Gevrey-Chambertin 1er “Varoilles” 2012
Exceptional, with inky notes of plum, earth, cassis, and a hint of sauvage. Allen Meadows (Burghound) found “excellent richness,” “intense and overtly powerful,” and a “tautly muscular finish,” and awarded 92 points.

Ravaut Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru 2012
From one of the most celebrated Grand Crus in Corton, this is a deep, sturdy wine punching well above its weight. We found notes of raspberry, cocoa, minerals, and burnt cherries — serve with a standing rib roast.

Mestre Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012
The nose shows a wide range of notes from violets and pan drippings to strawberry jam and lavender. The mouth is smooth and soft and rich, with a dark red complexion and silky tannins. Vinous’s awarded 91 points, calling it “suave and silky.”

André Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012
From 140-year-old organic vines, this is Châteauneuf-du-Pape at its deepest. The nose shows stone fruit jam, with browned butter, lavender, and cedar. The mouth shows prune and black raspberry, with intense licorice and wild cherry on the very long finish.

Goubert Gigondas Florence 2012
The nose is deep and woodsy, showing cassis, leather, raspberry and spice. The mouth is cool, dense, and, as Jancis Robinson put it, “very well balanced.” Josh Raynolds awarded 90-92 points, finding “mocha, licorice, and violet.”



The 2012 Sampler
sampler price: $385/half-case

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