2012 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes (Previously $110)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Up in the top handful of wines in the vintage (which should come as no surprise to anyone who follows this estate), the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, rich and layered Châteauneuf that doesn’t put a foot wrong. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, it offers blockbuster notes of blackberry, liquid-violets, spice and serious minerality to go with awesome mid-palate depth and layers of sweet tannin. Like the Cuvee Chaupin, it will be better in another handful of years and thrill through 2027.(JD) In case you haven’t been following any of the Wine Advocate reports over the past decade, Domaine de La Janasse, under the leadership of siblings Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, is one of the top two or three estates in the Southern Rhône. In addition to excelling in the top years, this estate also excels in the more difficult vintages. Looking at their 2013s, these were harvested around the October 18th. They have uncommon depth and richness in the vintage, beautifully sweet tannin, and will certainly be some of the top wines in the vintage. The 2012s also check in near the top of the hierarchy. (JD)
Tightly coiled for now, this features an intense, vivid core of anise, blackberry coulis, plum paste and macerated fig fruit, with black tea, smoldering tobacco and warm ganache notes. Long and dense, but very silky, with gorgeous violet and pastis details lingering in the background. Should unwind with time. Best from 2017 through 2035.
Inky ruby. Explosive aromas of dark berry preserves, incense and lavender, with a smoky overtone and bright minerality. Pliant and seamless in the mouth, offering intense, palate-staining cassis and blueberry flavors that are energized by juicy acidity. Shows real power and focus on the strikingly long finish, which features velvety tannins and a hint of candied flowers. There's 15% alcohol here, which is actually quite low for this bottling, and I don't detect any undue heat. (JR)
This cuvée of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre is from vines planted to clay-limestone soils that are full of the region's famous large pebbles, known as 'galets,' which absorb heat from the sun during the day and keep vines warm at night, encouraging ripeness and intensity of flavor. This was raised in one-year-old foudres and barriques, and reveals classic Châteauneuf aroma and flavor characteristics in an elegant, beautifully balanced style that will age for decades.