"While most of France's major wine regions struggled in 2012, the Rhône stands apart. Vintners are positive after a growing season and harvest marked by dry, sunny weather and well-timed rains."
James Molesworth - The Wine Spectator
Having read extensive reports about the success of the 2012 vintage in the Rhône Valley over recent months it was a great pleasure to get out there at the tail end of October and taste in person, in situ from barrel and bottle. Although I was optimistic about the quality of the harvest and the wine-making talents of the growers who supply us there really is no substitute for tasting wines sur place with the people who make them. Overall I was pleasantly surprised, even against a contextual background of positive reports. 2012 is not a blockbuster vintage in the North or the South. In the main it has delivered wines of pure fruit, great balance, elegance and charm. I think the 2012 Rhône wines will drink well from release and should have the capacity for good medium-term aging up to 10-15+ years.
I hope the attached video filmed at the gateway to the Rhône Valley in Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie will give further insight into my initial impressions.
PS. You can view Part 1 of my report (Hermitage, Jean-Louis Chave and Alain Graillot) and see our en primeur offer on our Rhône 2012 vintage report page.