I have always loved this wine. I loved the last vintage: the 2011, but it was a bit of a departure from the wine's usual elegance and poise. Famille Laurent's Saint Pourcain is always a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, but the 2011 seemed heavier on the Gamay than usual and the wine was more rustic and gamey. The 2012 is back to being more Pinot Noir based. The 2012 Saint Pourcain is still kind of earthy and minerally, but there's more fruit, more elegance, and more balance.
Saint Pourcain is a small appelation at the head waters of the Loire in France's Massif Central. It's technically the Loire valley, but geographically it's pretty close to Burgundy and Beaujolais, hence the Gamay and Pinot Noir together. The Laurent family has been here for over 5 generations now and while they don't have partiularly large vineyard holdings (under 30 acres) they've broken their vineyards into over 20 plots that they farm individually.
This wine is a stupendous value. Every vintage the Laurent's Saint Pourcain has fantastic poise, vitality, racy minerality, and supple fruit. This is the best value for Pinot Noir I've ever found.
Aroma: Lots of really vivid juicy cherry. There's also some raspberry and a bit of bright cranberry. The Saint Pourcain's aroma isn't overly fruity though; there's also a whiff of ceder wood, thyme, and maybe a just the ghost of animal fur.
Taste: Fresh and vibrant and dancing. This vintage of the Saint Pourcain has smooth black raspberry and cranberry fruit backed up with an energetic minerality. The Famille Laurent Saint Pourcain is bright and vivid, but also smooth and relaxed at the same time.
This is under $15 and available widely. Most shops Devenish does business have this; it's that good.