2012 Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien Domaines Perrin

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Average critic rating : 95.0 points



Showing much more open and expressive than when I tasted it last year (or said another way, I under-rated it), the 2012 Côtes du Rhône Villages Vinsobres les Hauts de Julien comes from close to 100-year-old vines located in the northern part of the Southern Rhône. A blend of Syrah and Grenache that’s still in barrel, it offers thrilling notes of smoked dark fruits, pepper meats, graphite and big minerality to go with a full-bodied, focused, concentrated and serious feel on the palate. This is impressive across the board, and might be the greatest Vinsobres I’ve ever tasted. Short-term cellaring is advised, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this still drinking brilliantly at age 20.||One of the standout tasting while I working in the southern Rhône, the Perrin family, now largely under the helm of Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu, continues to produce some of the top wines, at numerous price points, in the southern Rhône. Looking at this set of releases, the 2012s are incredibly strong, and given that, in general, the vintage was more challenging for Mourvedre due to water stress, I was amazed at what they were able to accomplish. The same can be said about their 2013s as well, and these wines transcend the vintage. The saving grace here is that Mourvedre excelled (truly special) in 2013. Another important point to consider is that the Perrins make multiple passes through each vineyard, sort again by cluster, completely destem all of the grapes, and then sort again. It’s this level of control that allows them to get awesome concentration and purity in these more difficult vintages. |It’s worth noting as well, this estate is increasingly investing in Gigondas, with ownership of one of the top restaurants in the area, L’Oustalet (don’t miss a chance to dine here), a small set of top notch rooms that can be reserved, and ownership of the Clos des Tourelles estate there as well. I opted to include the Gigondas reviews here as opposed to waiting on the Gigondas report, but these are some of the strongest efforts in the vintages. In addition to these southern Rhônes, they’ve branched out to the northern Rhône as well, with their Nicolas Perrin label. Those wines will be reviewed in the forthcoming northern Rhône report in Issue 216.|In short, this is a brilliant portfolio across the board. Also, going forward, the name Perrin et Fils has been changed to Famille Perrin.| eRobertParker.com.October, 2014

Domaine Perrin was founded in 1997 by siblings Francois Perrin and Jean-Pierre in the southern Rhône valley in France. The domaine produces fantastic wines using organic methods, the red wines being largely Grenache based. The jewel in their estate holdings is Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf du Pape.

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