2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de la Janasse, Rhône

2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de la Janasse, Rhône

Product: 20208024426
Prices start from £72.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de la Janasse, Rhône

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Description

This blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each Syrah and Mourvèdre comes from the property’s oldest vines. It shows power and restraint in equal measure – as only very old vines do. It’s aromatic; layered with sweet blueberries, cassis and redcurrants, with white pepper, bitter herbs and a little savoury coming through on the finish. Concentrated but not showy – very impressive.

Drink 2023 to 2040+

Georgina Haacke, Wine Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (Mar 2022)

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Critics reviews

Jeb Dunnuck96-98/100
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes also saw some stems (the estate started keeping some stems with the 2016 vintage) and was 75% destemmed, with the blend being 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah, Cinsault, and Terret Noir. As usual, it’s a more powerful, black-fruited wine comparted to the Cuvée Chaupin and has lots of crème de cassis, liquid violet, crushed stone, woodsmoke, and peppery herbs. It displays the vintage’s purity and freshness yet brings the concentration as well as the structure. I’ll be shocked if it’s not in the handful of top wines in the vintage.

Jeb Dunnuck (February 2022) Read more
Decanter96/100

Immediately impressive, densely fruited, with dark brooding blackberry and plum which make you sit up and take notice. It follows through onto the palate which is intense, juicy and fresh, this has more concentration than most this year, but without over extraction. Perfectly ripe, chunky and powerful, but not heavy. Fermented in concrete, matured for 12 months in foudre and demi-muid.

Drink 2026 - 2037

Matt Walls, Decanter.com (Oct 2021) Read more

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 – a domaine founded by their father, Aimé Sabon, in 1973. They now farm around 90 hectares, 18 of which are in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. These are dotted across numerous plots in the northeast of the appellation, in the commune of Courthézon, where the soils are more sandy and therefore much cooler. They also have a few parcels on the famous, clay soil plateau of La Crau. Grapes are largely de-stemmed; concrete tanks are used for the Grenache and old oak for the Syrah and Mourvèdre. In other words, everything is fairly traditional. While they have been farming largely in accordance with organic principals for years, they are now undergoing full conversion to organic and expect to gain certification in 2024.

Christophe says ’20 is a great vintage for freshness. He describes his wines this year as naturally elegant, possessing both power and refinement. It reminds him of his ’00 vintage, showing similar elegance, only a little more richness.

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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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Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.

 

Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

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