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Peak-Form, Back-Vintage Duo from Janasse: 96 Points Each - 09/20/2023 - Rhone Valley

Reference-Point Library Châteauneufs in Peak Form
2011 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes"
Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)

"...a candidate for the wine of the vintage ... it should not be missed."
— Jeb Dunnuck in Wine Advocate
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2012 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes"
Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)

"One of my favorite wines in just about every vintage ... the 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is another beautiful wine." — Jeb Dunnuck

From one of the most impeccably run estates in the Rhône Valley comes this pair of outstanding library finds in peak form. Janasse's Vieilles Vignes cuvée is always a critical favorite, and the 2011 and 2012 renditions are prime examples of this wine's tendency to express the very best of any given vintage. It's a rare occasion to stumble on a library-vintage Châteauneuf with such pedigree and over a decade of age on it, let alone two vintages, so Rhône fans will want to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2011 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 96 $89.99 View
2012 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 96 $89.99 View

*Pre-arrival items are expected to be available for shipment or pickup in March 2024.

Janasse Vines

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2011 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 96 $89.99 View
2012 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 96 $89.99 View

2011 Domaine de la Janasse

2011 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) - 0 available ($89.99)

96 points Wine Advocate: "And a candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is always a rough blend of 85% Grenache and the balance Syrah, Mourvedre, Clairette and other permitted varieties, that has the Grenache aged all in foudre and the Syrah and Mourvedre aged in one-third new barrels (thats less than 6% of the blend in new barrels). Exhibiting gorgeous black fruits, spice-box, toast, licorice and roasted meat-like qualities on the nose, it is full-bodied, concentrated and layered on the palate, with loads of texture, yet delivers no weight, heat, or ever puts a foot wrong. Shockingly good in the vintage, it should not be missed. Hats off to Christophe and Isabelle. (JD)" (10/2013)

94 points Vinous: "Bright purple. Dark fruit liqueur, star anise, cinnamon and licorice aromas are sharpened by a lively mineral quality and a touch of white pepper. Sappy, sweet and incisive, with a suave blend of power and vivacity to its blackcurrant and mulberry flavors. Juicy acidity gives focus to the finish, which features velvety tannins, a touch of smokiness and outstanding energy.(JR)" (01/2014)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Very solid for the vintage, with ripe, fleshy layers of plum compote, raspberry preserves and blackberry pâte de fruit. Lots of anise and graphite line the finish, with ample depth in reserve. (JM)" (10/2013)

93 points Decanter: "Deeply spicy aromas, liquorice and griotte cherry. It's a full-bodied wine, but relatively light for a Janasse Vieilles Vignes, with really marked acidity that's not terribly well integrated. Deep bramble jelly notes on the palate. The tannins are still a little rough, and the wine feels a little disjointed currently, so I would age this for a few more years before opening. It's certainly concentrated enough and has good freshness, if not great finesse. The 2011 vintage had a very hot August with mildew at the end of the season. The mistral after the rains in late August concentrated the berries, and they picked relatively early, with the last grapes brought in towards the end of September. The blend also contains some Clairette Rose, Cinsault and Counoise. Still remarkably dark in the glass. (Tasted from magnum, prices quoted are per 75cl bottle). (MW)" (01/2022)

2012 Domaine de la Janasse

2012 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) - 0 available ($89.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of my favorite wines in just about every vintage is the old vine cuvée from Janasse and the 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is another beautiful wine. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and the balance Syrah, aged in a mix of foudre and barrels, it offers terrific black fruits, crushed rocks, garrigue, and violet aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, concentrated, and beautifully balanced, with ripe tannin, its a joy to drink and will keep for another 10-15+ years." (02/2018)

96 points 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 doesnt 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 Cuvée Chaupin, it will be better in another handful of years and thrill through 2027. (JD)" (10/2014)

96 points Wine Spectator: "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. (JM)" (10/2014)

93-95 points Int'l Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. Blackberry, blueberry and pungent herbs on the mineral-accented nose, with a floral topnote providing lift. Impressively sweet, lush and deep, showing sexy flavors of dark berry preserves, candied lavender and spicecake. Finishes very long and smooth, with supple tannins, lingering spiciness and outstanding clarity." (01/2014)

94 points Vinous: "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)" (02/2015)

94 points Decanter: "Christophe Sabon has long produced different bottlings of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, all of high quality. The Vieilles Vignes comes from vines over 100 years old, mostly Grenache. Part of the wine is aged in 600-litre barrels. The nose is remarkably perfumed and lifted, with spicy red-fruits aromas and a light toastiness. The wine is predictably powerful, but it's also tight and elegant, with fine-grained tannins and a delightful freshness on the long finish. Despite the high alcohol, the wine shows fine balance and no burn on the finish. (SB)" (09/2019)

K&L Notes: 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.