2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domaine de la Janasse

2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domaine de la Janasse

Product: 20158010827
Prices start from £450.00 per case Buying options
2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domaine de la Janasse

Description

Grapes come courtesy of the eponymous Janasse plot, together with a relatively sandy vineyard in Le Crau. The wine is made up of 40 percent Grenache Blanc, 40 percent Clairette and 20 percent Roussanne – the last treated to barrel fermentation and lees’ stirring. On the nose it is an olfactory fruit basket with yellow flowers and white peach in the ascendant, while the palate brings brioche and vanilla, warmth and generosity. Drink now to 2024. 
Simon Field MW - Wine Buyer

The brother and sister team of Christophe and Isabelle Sabon continue to work wonders at Janasse. They farm 80 hectares of vineyards spread over a number of wine appellations: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is all located in the north-east of the appellation in the commune of Courthézon, Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages, but also Vin de Pays de la Principauté d'Orange and Vin de Table. Concrete tanks are used for the Grenache and oak for the Syrah and Mourvèdre; in other words, everything is fairly traditional. Isabelle Sabon compares the 2015 to 2005 and 2010. Its tannic profile sits somewhere in the middle, as, possibly, does its quality. For all that, they are three outstanding vintages.
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About this WINE

Domaine de la Janasse

Domaine de la Janasse

Brother-and-sister team Christophe and Isabelle Sabon continue to work wonders at Janasse, which was founded in 1973. They farm around 100 hectares of Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the latter is all in the northeast commune of Courthézon. Grapes are largely de-stemmed; concrete tanks are used for the Grenache, and oak for the Syrah and Mourvèdre: in other words, everything is fairly traditional.

The Sabons described the conditions of 2019 as having been ideal: the season allowed them to pick perfectly ripe, healthy bunches of grapes that required no additional sorting in the cellar. Rich in anthocyanins and deeply coloured, this is a truly impressive vintage defined by purity and concentration of fruit. It’s certainly one for laying down.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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White Rhône Blend

White Rhône Blend

With the exception of the wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet virtually all Rhône Valley whites are made from blends.

In the north, the white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and St-Péray are produced from blends of Marsanne and Roussanne. Generally Marsanne is the dominant partner and it lends colour, body and weight to the blend, as well as richly scented fruit. Roussanne, a notoriously low yielder and pernickety to grow, produces intensely aromatic wines which contribute bouquet, delicacy and finesse to the blend.

Until about 15 years ago there was very little interest in southern Rhône whites as it was widely believed that the combination of dull non aromatic grapes and the baking summer heat meant quality wine production was nigh impossible. Since then the quality has improved markedly through the introduction of cool fermentation techniques and increased plantings of northern Rhône white grapes.

The base of many blends is still Grenache Blanc, a widely planted variety producing fresh wines with apple-like fruits, often with hints of aniseed. Ugni Blanc is still found in many blends, as is Clairette though their general lack of character and definition has led to a reduction in plantings. The future for southern Rhône whites appears to lie with Roussanne, Marsanne, and, increasingly, Viognier.

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