Robert Parker 96-98
Possessing slightly more purity (but maybe not the complexity) than the 2011, the 2012 Cote Rotie la Mouline offers a heavenly perfume of cured meats, pecking duck, violets and cassis. This flows to a full-bodied, seamless, absolutely hedonistic Cote Rotie that has good acidity, ripe, polished tannin and a great finish. Of the three single parcel Cote Roties, it’s the most approachable, but will still drink beautifully for three decades or more. One of the highlight tastings during my two weeks spent working in the northern Rhône was with Philippe and Marcel Guigal, who in this critic’s opinion, consistently fashion some of the greatest wines in the world. Looking at the 2011 Côte Rôties, which were bottled earlier this year, these are gorgeous wines that show the perfumed, sexy nature of the vintage; yet, they have more density, concentration and depth than just about every other wine from the vintage. Marcel characterized the vintage as charming and elegant, and while they’re insanely good even today, they’ll evolve gracefully and have broad drink windows. The 2012s should be bottled next year and this is another terrific vintage at this estate, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who follows the estate. The wines are already expressive, yet have more fat and texture than the 2011s, although maybe not the same level of focus or length. I suspect this is another vintage that will show nicely on release next year and age gracefully, with broad drink windows. The 2013s, in contrast, are inky, masculine, structured and not very much fun to taste at the moment. The extended elevage will help, but these will certainly be longer term prospects that will demand cellaring.
Lurid ruby. Heady, intensely perfumed aromas of red fruit preserves, incense, smoky minerals and lavender, accompanied by an Asian spice flourish that builds as the wine opens up. Stains the palate with sweet, seamless raspberry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that are lifted and given spine by core of juicy acidity. Puts on weight and spreads out slowly on the strikingly long and precise finish, which features resonating mineral and floral notes.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2030