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Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Villages Terre d'Argile 2020  - First Bottle


91-93 Jeb Dunnuck -
The 2020 Côtes du Rhône Villages Terre d'Argile, which comes from vines just north of Châteauneuf du Pape, is always a stunning Côtes du Rhône. In fact, there’s not many better out there. The 2020 shows the pure, lively style of the vintage as well as classic cassis and raspberry fruits supported by toasted spice and floral notes. It’s medium to full-bodied, balanced, and clearly an outstanding, impeccably made wine.
91 Wine Spectator -
A stylish red, with impressive polish to the flavors of cassis and red licorice highlighted by dried anise, vanilla and singed alder. Boasts snappy acidity and silky tannins, which nicely frame the lush palate. Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2026. 3,500 cases made, 750 cases imported.
90-92 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Not yet bottled at the time of my visit, the 2020 Cotes du Rhone Villages Terre d'Argile shows a bit more structure and tannin than the regular Cotes du Rhone, but it also boasts charming, floral nuances and vibrant blackberry fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, with a long, slightly drying, dusty finish.
90 James Suckling -
The ripe-plum, candied-orange and bitter-chocolate nose pulls you into this rich red, which has enough supple tannin to carry the expansive body. The long, supple finish makes it easy to drink, even without food. Drink or hold.

Technical Details

  • Blend25% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre and 25% Carignan
  • WinemakerIsabelle and Christophe Sabon
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionRhone Valley
  • AppellationCotes du Rhone
  • Aging/CooperageIn barrels (1/3 of which are new) for Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan, and in foudres (wooden vats) for Grenache, for 12 months.
  • Alcohol14.5%

Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Villages Terre d'Argile 2020

Rhone Blends  |  France
JD91-93, WS91, WA90-92, JS90

28% off retail!

DOMAINE de la JANASSE, people! One of grenache’s foremost champions and one of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's greatest stars – with their overachieving, dare-to-taste-this-blind Côtes du Rhône! 91 POINTS and UNDER $20 each when you grab six or more!

“The Cotes du Rhone Villages Terre de l'Argile and Cotes du Rhone Les Garrigues could easily pass as Châteauneufs in a blind tasting.” – The Wine Advocate

Exactly. We’ve been saying as much for years, but it is always nice to receive affirmation from possibly the most influential wine magazine in the world. Christophe Sabon has made Domaine de la Janasse a true treasure of the Rhone – with many arguing that his wines are even an improvement on those of his father, Aimé. That is high praise indeed, and without inciting any family squabbles – we’ll just say that these wines are remarkable…one of the most consistent, highest quality and highest value portfolios to be had in all of France.

The estate got started in the early 1970s when Aimé Sabon took over his father’s farm. Like many in Châteauneuf, the family had always sold their grapes to the local co-op, but Aimé bucked that trend – building his own cellar and producing his own wines. He named it Domaine de la Janasse after the family farm in Courthézon, in the locality of “La Janasse”. Starting with 15 hectares, Aimé’s ambition led to his acquiring more and more neighboring, the estate has over 90 hectares.

Beginning in the early 1990s, the next generation took over. Christophe Sabon –Aimé's eldest son– came back from Beaune with degrees in viticulture, oenology, and marketing and was subsequently given control of the cellar. A decade later, his sister, Isabelle, graduated from the University of Toulouse – also with an oenology degree, and joined Chris in the cellar. Today, this duo continues to produce a bevy of sensational Côtes du Rhônes and Châteauneuf-du-Papes from their vines in the northeastern region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and around the village of Courthézon.

This exceptional village wine is composed of equal parts – namely 25% grenache, 25% syrah, 25% mourvèdre, and 25% carignan. While the house normally focuses on highlighting grenache, this cuvee is an opportunity to showcase the “other” grapes of the Rhone. With the high-toned and red-fruit driven grenache on equal footing – a decidedly more deeply black-fruited and olive-rich note takes center stage – with a wild bramble berry characteristic of black currants and black raspberries accented by anise, vanilla, and toasted spices. The finish is dusty and dry, with an immensity to the palate that is surprising for a Côtes du Rhône. This powerful wine will certainly drink well for a decade or more, and if you need to stump a professed CdP lover in a blind tasting – I can’t think of a better wine to do it! At the remarkable price of $19.95 per bottle on six – load up now and you can thank us later!

PAIRING IDEAS: This one’s easy...grilled lamb chops! I marinated mine in olive oil, garlic and rosemary, quickly seared, then brushed with pomegranate molasses and coated in crushed pistachios. Finish in a 400 degree oven to medium rare and this is just perfect!

About the Producer

The estate was founded in 1976 by Aime Sabon, the father of Christophe and Isabelle, who still oversee the vineyards. The property consists of 40 hectares, spread over as many as 70 different parcels throughout the appellation. While Aime works in the vineyards, his children are in charge of wine production. Christophe is a self-proclaimed, great defender of Grenache, which still represents 75% of their vines. With assistance from Aime and Isabelle, he manages the common rusticity of Grenache-based wines through meticulous work in the vineyards and cellar. The result is a wide range of rich and flavorful Chateauneuf-du-Papes, Cotes-du-Rhones and Vins de Pays that are complex and balanced often in contradiction to a region better known for sheer exuberance and power.