Chapoutier, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Barbe Rac 2011
93 Wine Advocate
Slightly deeper in color, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac is a superb success in the vintage. Offering surprising richness and depth, with a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated feel on the palate, it offers copious black cherry, leather, ground pepper and minerality on the nose. As with the other cuvees, it is a forward, fleshy vintage for the cuvee, yet it possesses fine tannin, terrific mid-palate depth and an all-around balanced, harmonious feel that should allow it to age gracefully. Enjoy it over the coming decade. Drink now-2023.
While more known for his top-flight Northern Rhone efforts, Michel Chapoutier produces a bevy of brilliant Chateauneuf du Papes, as well as a number of high quality, value-priced wines from throughout the Southern Rhone (and Languedoc). Looking first at his Marius wines, these are straightforward, yet impressively made wines that offer easy-drinking. They also sell for a song and over-deliver. As to his Chateauneufs, he normally releases three cuvees, the La Bernardine being a blend and the Croix de Bois and Barbe Rac both single vineyard, 100% Grenache releases. Both 2011 and 2012 are strong here. Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013