Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2008
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Vineyards: Parcels from different soils throughout the appellation. The Grenache vines are 60-100+ years old.
Blend: 70% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre with a small amount of other varieties.
Wine Spectator - "This is pure, driven and well-rounded, with a beam of kirsch, crushed plum and bright red currant fruit coursing through, backed by lingering red licorice, violet and sweet tobacco notes. The long finish is still tight. Best from 2011 through 2025."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 1,000-case blend of 70% old vine Grenache (60- to 100-year-old vines) and 30% Mourvedre (a much higher percentage than normal). One of the top half-dozen Chateauneuf du Papes of the vintage, it boasts a dark plum/ruby/purple color, full body, light to moderate tannin and lots of white chocolate, licorice, black currant, kirsch, incense and jus de viande characteristics. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for a decade. It is a remarkable achievement for a vintage such as 2008. "
International Wine Cellar - "Wild, intensely perfumed nose combines black raspberry, mulberry, mocha, star anise and dried flowers. Enters the mouth silky and fine, then expands to stain the palate with vibrant, mineral-driven flavors of candied red fruits and spices. The long, sweet finish clings with impressive tenacity, echoing the floral note."
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Domaine de la Janasse Winery
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 Châteauneufs.
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 Châteauneuf-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”. View all Domaine de la Janasse Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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