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More than 40 years after Aime Sabon established Janasse at Courthezon, it is now established as one of the southern Rhone’s finest wine estates, spanning some 80 hectares of vineyards. Now under the control of Christophe Sabon and his sister Isabelle, Janasse’s much-lauded Chateauneuf-du-Papes are a quintessentially modern - and yet traditional - interpretation of the vineyards’ superlative raw material.
The vines are grown without pesticides or insecticides and fertiliser is natural. The land is worked without herbicides to maintain ventilation and flexibility in the soil.
Marked by several periods of strong heat and a few timely thundery storms, the 2015 Domaine de la Janasse vintage is generous in colour, generous in structure, in ripeness. It was generous also in quantity, a rare occurrence for an appellation known for its low yields.
Favourable weather conditions all year long meant that the 2015 crop reached ripeness in excellent conditions, and the thundery storms mid-September did not affect the quality of what already appeared to be an excellent vintage.
The 2015 red Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines have beautiful deep, dark and already shiny colours. The aromas –mostly black fruit- remain fresh, a proof that the fruit has been harvested at its optimal ripeness. The tannins are there – silky and smooth, fine and elegant. The wines are balanced, fruity, enjoyable, and definitely set to age well and for many years. Still, they bear all the necessary qualities to be drunk in their youth, just like the 1990, 1998 and 2010 vintages.
This cuvée comes from four plots located on different soils that perfectly match when assembled. Firstly a southern pebbly soil that brings body and power. Secondly a Chaupin-like soil for freshness and acidity. A third red clay pebbly soil in the north of the appellation that brings structure and body. And finally a sandy-limestone soil for smoothness.
Assemblage/varietal mix: 64% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 6% others (up to 13 varieties are allowed in red Chateauneuf!).
Vine age: 40% 1920, 40% 1965, 10% 1976, 10% 1993.
Vineyard: The vines are grown without pesticides or insecticides and manure is natural. The land is worked without herbicide to maintain ventilation and flexibility to the soil. Yields are typically as low as 28 hl/ha.
Vinification: 80% of stems are removed. Maceration: 28 days with manual pressing once a day.
Ageing/elevage is highly traditional and avoids the modern heavy use of oak: 70-75% (largely the Grenache) is matured in concrete vats, the other 25-30% demi-muids (600-litre barrels).
Production is some 15.000 bottles per year.
Tasting: The flagship wine of the estate, still the highest in international rankings. The color is dark with purple reflections. The nose, with discreet aromas of crushed black fruits and garrigue, is just waiting to melt into a noble and fresh material. "Keep it at least ten years before serving on a jugged hare Royale", says the Domaine.
** THIS WINE IS IN SHORT SUPPLY AND, TRY AS WE WILL, WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO FULFIL ALL ORDERS. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST CALLING US BEFORE ORDERING SO THAT WE CAN VERIFY AVAILABILITY. **