Côte-Rôtie “Brune et Blonde de Guigal” 2012
94 points James Suckling
– Bottled as a single blend in 2012, this has a fine, peppery edge to the nose with elegant dark-chocolate aromas ahead of brambly dark plums and black-cherry fruits. There’s a wealth of richness and power here, and it’s so layered and dense. A wine that shows a smooth build of fine and even tannin. The gentle pepperiness cracks into the finish, where there’s another warm dark chocolate afterglow. This spent 36 months in oak, of which 50% was new. Best from 2018 and for at least a decade afterwards. (11/2016)
91-93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
– Scheduled to be bottled in two weeks, the 2012 Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde has a complex, pure, medium to full-bodied feel in its cassis, black raspberry, olive and spice-laced bouquet. Possessing sweet tannin, plenty of fruit and a great finish, it has plenty of similarities to the 2011 and is joy to drink. (JD) (12/2015)
93 points Vinous
– Saturated ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes black and blue fruit liqueur, incense and fresh flowers, and notes of smoky minerals, vanilla and licorice adds complexity. Coats the palate with sweet cherry-vanilla and blueberry flavors given lift and cut by zesty acidity and a hint of cracked pepper. Finishes on a gently tannic note, showing excellent lift and floral-driven tenacity. (JR) (3/2016)
92 points Wine Spectator
– This offers a distinctive set of alder and olive aromas before giving way to a slightly taut core of bitter cherry, plum and red currant fruit. Lovely bay and leather accents hang on the background, leading to a long, grippy finish that exudes a slightly perfumy sandalwood note. (JM) (4/2016)
Esporao Private Selection, Garrafeira Tinto, 2012
– Esporão Private Selection Red is a continuation of the Esporão Garrafeira Tinto, first launched in 1987. Initially it was a choice of the best barrels of Esporão Reserva and, over time, we understood our vineyards better, naturally evolving to a selection of the best fields of our Estate. At the end of the 90s we built an exclusive winery for him, becoming the center of our attention. The Private Selection is our conception of a classic Red wine Alentejo wine: intense and rich but without exaggeration, balanced in the mouth but with good potential of guard. In the nose it is more tense than usual, with suggestions of blue fruit and graphite, well wrapped in notes of toast and spices. In the palate it shows firmness, quite freshness, generous but well fused tannins, great structure and elegance. (Herdade do Esporão)
Finca La Emperatriz – Reserva, Rioja DOC, Spain 2012
A ruby red wine, very brilliant, with medium to high colour intensity and slightly tinted legs. Very intense on the nose, with initially complex, mineral aromas originating from the soil. This is followed by notes reminiscent of cigar boxes and sweet dairy products, with a hint of black fruits and orange peel; very elegant. Very intense in the mouth; a spirited wine with good acidity and medium strength on the palate. A friendly, enveloping sensation in the mouth, with a fruity and mildly spiced finish. Enjoy with Stews and casseroles.
Bodegas la Emperatriz
Bodegas la Emperatriz is great find. A picturesque estate in the heart of Rioja Alta which has been winning awards since the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878, when it was owned by the last empress of France, Eugenia de Montijo. Now owned by the Hernaiz family since 1996, the estate boasts 67 years old vine Garnacha and Viura, and produces Rioja’s only single estate Crianza. Their wines have proved a huge hit with wine critics across the globe and are widely listed in Madrid’s Michelin starred restaurants.