Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2019
The estate's flagship cuvée, always at the top of international rankings. The robe is dark with purple reflections. On the nose, the still discreet aromas of crushed black fruits and garrigue are just waiting to melt into a noble and fresh substance, to reveal finesse and elegance on the palate.
Blend: 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Lastly, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is another tour de force from this estate, who are clearly firing on all cylinders today. A blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah that’s brought up in a mix of foudre and barrel, its deep purple hue is followed by a rich, powerful, full-bodied wine offering ample cassis and darker berry fruits, notes of ground pepper, cured meats, and scorched earth, ripe, building tannins, incredible balance, and a great finish. It’s going to flirt with perfection at maturity, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it still drinking brilliantly at age 30. Rating :97+
Lovely density of dark fruit, full and weighty on the palate. Powerful, long, concentrated and fresh. The alcohol is a little warming, but generally the impression is one of warmth, generosity and endlessly deep, dark fruit. One for the cellar. Fermented in concrete, matured for 12 months in foudre and demi-muid.
Warm and lush in feel, with steeped dark plum, blackberry and açai berry fruit flavors infused with singed savory, licorice root and warm earth notes, offering a late echo of bittersweet Valrhona chocolate. Good underlying grip keeps this honest enough too. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2035.
The striking nose of cardamon, licorice and bell pepper pulls you into the rich and concentrated palate which has good balance, in spite of the substantial tannins. Slightly chewy, long finish that needs some time to soften. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.
Domaine de la Janasse has quickly become one of the Superstar estates of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Led by the dynamic Christophe Sabon, the estate combines the best of both traditional and modern techniques to craft a collection of truly riveting wines from “simple” value-priced VDP’s to benchmark Chateauneufs.
The estate was founded in 1976 by Aimé Sabon, Christophe’s father, who still oversees the vineyards and farms organically. The property consists of 40 Hectares, spread over as many as 70 different parcels throughout the appellation.
While Aime works in the vineyards, his son, Christophe Sabon, is in charge of wine production. Christophe is a self-proclaimed “great defender of Grenache,” which still represents 75% of their vines. He manages the common rusticity of Grenache-based wines through meticulous work in the vineyards and cellar. The result is a wide range of lavishly ripe, extracted Chateauneuf-du-Papes and Cotes-du-Rhônes that are complex and yet balanced with acidity -- often in contradiction to an appellation better known for sheer exuberance and power. As Robert Parker points out: “The young and talented Christophe Sabon continues to display the sure-handed touch of a veteran winemaker”.
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.
According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.