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Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2020 (Magnum 1.5L)  - First Bottle


98 Falstaff -
Strong ruby colour, purple reflections, broad brightening on the rim. Delicate hints of candied violets, black wild berries, some lavender, a touch of dried herbs and lime zest. Taut, finely-meshed, with depth. Ripe cherries, exquisite fruit, ripe, supporting tannins, fresh and mineral. Has great length; a perfect marriage of the different soils and varieties, certain ageing potential.
95-98 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Not as rich or concentrated as I was expecting, the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes still delivers ample layers of dark fruit, hints of cola, mint and spice elements. It's full-bodied, silky and long, but it looks to fall short of the quality heights reached by some other recent vintages.
97 Jeff Leve -
Dark in color, the wine exudes a hint of jam along with black cherries, flowers and spicy plums in the nose. On the palate, the wine is lush, polished, balanced and fresh merging its naturally powerful, full-bodied style with elegance and polish. Clearly, this is one of the wines of the vintage. The wine is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. Drink from 2023-2038.
97 James Suckling -
Much more powerful and closed, the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes comes more from the La Crau and La Janasse lieux-dits and is the usual blend of mostly Grenache with a touch of Syrah. Blackberries, graphite, scorched earth, pepper, and sappy garrigue all emerge on the nose, and it's full-bodied, has beautiful concentration, polished tannins, and a great finish. Nothing is out of place, and this perfectly balanced, authoritative, powerful, and incredibly impressive 2020 will benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and evolve for 15-20 years in cold cellars.
96 Decanter -
Immediately impressive, densely fruited, with dark brooding blackberry and plum which make you sit up and take notice. It follows through onto the palate which is intense, juicy and fresh, this has more concentration than most this year, but without over extraction. Perfectly ripe, chunky and powerful, but not heavy. Fermented in concrete, matured for 12 months in foudre and demi-muid.
95 Wine Spectator -
This is brimming with dark cherry, blackberry and boysenberry compote flavors that spill forth, laced with generous licorice snap, tar, graphite and black tea notes. A nice tug of iron appears very late on the finish, as the fruit lingers on. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2024 through 2040. 1,500 cases made, 392 cases imported.

Technical Details

  • Blend65% old Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault
  • WinemakerIsabelle and Christophe Sabon
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionRhone Valley
  • AppellationChateauneuf-du-Pape
  • Farming MethodOrganic Practices
  • Aging/Cooperage12 months in 3/4 foudres and 1/4 in demi-muids
  • Alcohol15.5%
  • Production392 cases imported cases

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2020 (Magnum 1.5L)

Rhone Blends  |  France
FS98, WA95-98, JL97, JS97, DC96, WS95

Organic Practices
42% off retail!
Act Fast, Only 48 Left!

DOMAINE de la JANASSE, people! You might have noticed, but we’re huge fans of the Sabon family...This top-of-the-class cuvee is a long-standing favorite among the fiercest Châteauneuf collectors. 98 POINTS and universal acclaim make this the magnum to add to your collection!

The Sabon Family certainly has a way with CdP. A huge chunk of this old vine cuvee is from ancient 100+-year-old vines (another is from a spring chicken site of only 80+ years) for a final blend of 85% grenache, 10% syrah, and 5% mourvèdre. In the supple and elegant 2020 vintage, this wine is “immediately impressive” (Decanter), where “nothing is out of place...perfectly balanced, authoritative, powerful...” (Dunnuck), and when all is said and done, just “a perfect marriage of the different soils and varieties, certain aging potential.” (Falstaff)

We simply couldn’t agree more. The estate's flagship cuvée, from four revered parcels (but mostly La Crau and La Janasse) – all on different terroirs which complement the final blend (CdP's classic rolled pebbles for richness and power, fine, quick-draining sand for freshness, red clay for structure and body, and lastly a sandy-limestone hillside which uplifts the aromatics and instills a high-toned finesse). This is simply a masterclass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape blending, and the wine is exceptionally stunning in its youth, all while possessing the necessary traits to age gracefully over the next twenty-plus years in the cellar.

The wine pours a dark ruby purple, with intoxicating aromatics that range from peonies and candied violets to crushed blackberries and roasted herbs de Provence. The structure is noticeable, yet supremely integrated, and the overall mouthfeel is silky yet expansive. The finish is long and mineral – with graphite and scorched earth harnessing the impressive fruit profile so that the no-sip finishes with any hint of saccharine jamminess. It’s a varied range, to be certain, and all the more fantastic in that there is never a slip, a missed connection, a bump in the road – nothing. This is a complete and whole wine from the first sip to the last – and one we can’t wait to see develop over the coming years.

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. We got as many as we could, but 98-point magnums from all-time legendary estates don’t tend to last long, especially at prices like this!

PAIRING IDEAS: One of New Orleans’ signature dishes is grillades of beef served over creamy grits. These tender cutlets, finished with a rich gravy, are melt-in-your-mouth good, and this wine will make it all even better!

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.