TN: 2012 Domaine Joël Champet Côte-Rôtie La Viallière

Pardon my country French, this is a “Holy Fuk” wine. Like amazing. And like, where the F did it come from. I’m sure the geeky New York cognoscenti - yea guys like @John_Morris and @Jay_Miller - already knew about this wine, but us bumpkins down in Florida did not. And apparently the savant @Keith_Levenberg did not either, until he dropped that note on CT in 2016. Go read it. I did, and like an idiot - and cheapskate - only bought three. It was all of like $40 bucks. Wish I had a case. Or more.

Fast forward to last night, this wine is increds. All the makings of classic, old school roasted slope. A big meaty, briny nose with black olive paste, ferrous metals, and a feral edge to it that is intoxicating. I hate drinking this wine as I feared to lose the aromatics. The palate is lean, muscular, structured - like a pentathlete - showing mostly red fruits, herbs and a savory beef stew note. Some rusticity to this wine. If you want silk or gloss, run. This wine will kick you in the teeth. I want more. This is dead center in my wheelhouse. It’s also the best Champet that I have ever had since Keith sent me that “heads-up” email abiut this wine.

(95 pts.)


Love the old school label!

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Nice. But the cognoscenti are like oh crap it will be 80 bucks now.

You youngster. I was buying Champet in the 80s.

I see I still have one bottle of the 05, which was drinking very nicely a couple of years ago. The 04 was kind of meh.

I visited the elder M. Champet circa 1988 with Claude Kolm. It was a memorable visit because Claude swirled and splashed some wine on his shirt. The diminutive M. Champet scampered off to the house and returned with a bowl of salt, which he proceeded to rub onto Claude’s (clothed) belly. It was before the days of cell phone, or I’d have the photos to show.


Yup. I paid $35 for the 2005 in 2008.

Dammit, John, you were more plugged in that I even thought! I knew you would swoop in and say you’ve been drinking this since time immemorial, but I did not imagine it was way back then.

Looking through CT and WSPro there are some ‘15s out there but some weirdly bad notes on this vintage. Bad bottles? Or what? Anyone had a ‘15 of this wine? Maybe I’ll just pick up some ‘20.

100% pass on 2015, wish I could give you some insight on 2020, but I have none.

Has anyone else tried the 2020?

To this day I still haven’t figured out why 2012 isn’t considered a rock star Cote Rotie vintage.

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Too warm. Give me 2013.

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I’ve never seen a vintage-chartmaker penalize a warm vintage.

That’s true. Because they rate vintages for how they taste right now, not how they’ll taste when mature.

Any recent notes on '14 or '16?