Clos Fourtet 2012

St Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé B

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Tasting Notes

The 2012 Clos Fourtet is deep, fleshy and quite seductive. Sweet red cherry, plum, dried flowers, sage and rosemary flesh out in a pretty, gracious Clos Fourtet that offers lovely balance to match its mid-weight, restrained personality. This is a lovely showing, and a wine that should drink well with minimal cellaring. The 2012 preserves lovely freshness, but it should also drink well with minimal cellaring. There is plenty to admire, that much is sure. The 2012 is 86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc that spent 18 months in French oak, 60% new.

Score: 95

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2018-2037 01 January 2016

Clos Fourtet enjoys an ideal setting, with its 47 acres of walled vineyard atop a limestone-based plateau. The Cuvelier family purchased the property in 2001. By lowering yields, encouraging malolactic fermentation in stainless-steel tanks and employing less new oak, Clos Fourtet shows greater precision. In the challenging 2012 vintage, the château’s team (maitre de chai Tony Ballu and consulting winemakers Jean-Claude Berrouet and Stéphane Derenoncourt) created a top wine and an excellent value with their Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. #9 in WS's top 100 wines of 2015: Gorgeous, with a pure, unadorned violet aroma giving way to very ripe and stylish plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. Offers a suave mouthfeel, with anise and tobacco hints filling the background. A finely stitched chalk note extends the finish. Not shy on depth, and sneakily long. Best from 2017 through 2030.

Score: 95

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2017-2030 15 November 2015

Juicy and open, with a bright mix of strawberry, pomegranate and cherry fruit laced with a pleasantly firm structure. Shows more flesh and dark fruit with aeration, releasing a pleasant graphite note and hinting at buried perfume. Should be solid with some aging.

Score: 91 - 94

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 08 April 2013

Having just had the 2003 and 2005 from my cellar, I can attest to the magnificent turnaround in quality this famous estate on the eastern side of St.-Emilion has achieved. All of it is attributable to its dynamic proprietor, Philippe Cuvelier. The 2012 Clos Fourtet (usually 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruit and an inky purple color. With flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning richness, this is impressive and certainly one of the vintage's top wines. It should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years, and be drinkable in 3-4. Yields were a modest 32 hectoliters per hectare with the alcohol at 14%.

Score: 95

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2019-2039 01 April 2015

The 2012 Clos Fourtet was cropped at 32 hectoliters per hectare and achieved 14% natural alcohol. The final blend was 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. It offers an opaque dense purple color along with attractive blackberry, licorice, truffle and cassis fruit notes. It is full-bodied and dense with an authoritative mid-palate, sweet tannin and a layered mouthfeel that builds incrementally into a stunningly long finish. Precocious and charming already, it will drink better at an earlier age than the massive, prodigious 2009. Drink this killer St.-Emilion over the next 15+ years.

Score: 93 - 95

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2013-2028 26 April 2013

Inky with purple rim. Rich, ripe and spicy. More damson than cassis but fresh. Chewy, some oak char, fruit not as rich on the palate as on the nose so finishes a touch too dry/stringy.

Score: 15 - 16

Julia Harding MW, Maturity: 2017-2024 26 April 2013

This is a wine with layers of fruit and firm yet polished tannins. Full body, juicy and rich. It shows outstanding depth for the vintage.

Score: 92 - 93

James Suckling, 04 April 2013