2016 Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 97
Wine Advocate: 97+
Vinous Media: 94-96
James Suckling: 96
Jeb Dunnuck: 99
Red Wine

Pre-Order
DUE IN: WINTER 2018

Price :
$109.95

"This is packed with plum, raspberry and blackberry confiture flavors that are youthfully wound up, while warm stone, anise, bay leaf, garrigue and tar notes fill in throughout. Dense but juicy, with a long, smoldering feel on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2040. -J.M." (WS)

"Time will tell if this wine equals the stellar 2015; it's certainly very close in quality. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes is a blend of approximately 75% Grenache, 12% Mourvèdre, 8% Syrah and the rest other permitted varieties. Tarry and deep on the nose, it delivers waves of blackberries and black cherries on the palate, framing those flavors with plenty of richness, layers of silky tannins and a long, elegant finish.

Although I showed up considerably late for my appointment with the brother-sister team of Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, Christophe wore his customary, irrepressible smile. The French soccer team was ahead in their World Cup match, and he was showing off the domaine's stellar 2016s. "It's my father's 50th harvest," he said. "And he thinks it's the best. It's incredible because you have power, finesse and acidity." Interestingly, the Sabons are planting Grenache Gris and Clairette Rose for possible inclusion in red wines, which Christophe said he hopes will add some freshness to Grenache. Worth noting is that the family also owns Clos St Antonin (tasted on this visit but written up under its own heading)." (WA)

"Bright violet. Heady aromas of mineral-tinged dark berry liqueur, incense and cola, complicated by a suave floral nuance. Smoky and seamless on the palate, offering powerful, alluringly sweet black and blue fruit, spicecake, mocha and candied licorice flavors braced by juicy acidity. Closes with outstanding clarity, smooth tannins and floral-dominated persistence, leaving sexy floral pastille and star anise notes behind." (VM)

"There’s a very intense core of dark fruit. A deep, ripe and quite savory palate with spices and dark herbs. Bitter chocolate, too. Real depth and power here. Super-fresh, dark spice and cola give a real spark to the finish. Thrilling. A blend of four old-vine parcels from a variety of soils. Drink in 2020." (JS)

"Bottled at the same time, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes gives up more cassis, tapenade, underbrush, cured meats, and earth, and it’s a slightly more dense, backward wine compared to the Chaupin. Full-bodied and beautifully concentrated, with tons of structure, it stays fresh and elegant, has sweet tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's an incredible, borderline perfect wine from this estate that will keep for two decades or more." (JD)

Winery Notes:
In contrast to Chaupin, which is made from old-vine Grenache on sandy soils, the cuvée Vieilles Vignes is from old vines of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah along with smaller percentages of other permitted varieties that are grown in these old vineyards. The wine is sourced from 4 terroirs: pebbly clay, sand, gravelly red clay and sandy limestone.