2008 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Elsewhere $90)
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 tightly wound. Best from 2011 through 2025.
Robert Parker's 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.
Stephen Tanzer's 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.