Domaine de la Janasse is located in Courthezon, in the Southern Rhone Valley, and it is one of the region’s brightest stars. The Sabon family has been growing grapes in the valley for several generations, but it wasn’t until 1973 that Aime Sabon began making wine under the name Domaine de la Janasse. The wines became truly noteworthy in the 1990s, after Aime’s son Christophe graduated from oenology college in Beaune and returned to the domaine bringing new ideas about wine production and viticulture. Janasse owns 136 acres of vineyards divided into 15 parcels, and also makes Cotes du Rhone and white wines, all of which are praised by reviewers.
A blend of 85% old vine Grenache, 10% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre and the balance other permitted varieties, it was 80% destemmed and aged in 75% foudre and 25% in barrel.
Light red in color. 15% ABV. Ample sediment. Heady nose of red fruits, Tawny Port, garrigue and chocolate truffles. Medium body with exceptional acidity. Well balanced. Concentrated, powerful and packed with fruit. Creme de cassis, kirsch liqueur, plums, blood and minerals on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. The smell borders on exotic but, otherwise, this wine has enough of the trademarks of the ’04 vintage to keep things in check and really deliver. Outstanding CdP that has aged beautifully. This will cruise to 20 years of age. Wish I had more.
My rating: 95 points.
Current vintages of Janasse Vieilles Vignes will set you back about $125. Be on the lookout for the ’16 and ’17.