Now an address that we offer annually, but the 2020s from Janasse look exceptional, and with the big scores from Decanter and Jeb Dunnuck, it looks like one of the best of all time. Founded in 1967 by Amie Sabon, after returning from military service, he took over his father's vines initially sold to a cooperative. He knew his vines were located in great spots, and in 1973, he built his own cellar and named it after a family farm located in La Janasse, starting with 15 hectares of vines. Today the estate covers over 90 hectares, with Amie Sabon's son Christophe and daughter Isabelle taking over the estate after both graduated from enology school. Farming is done with sustainable devotion respecting the land over a patchwork of 60 plots spread throughout Chateauneuf du Pape. Each plot is planted to what grows best, and it is this diverse range of soils, exposures, and grape varieties that bring a tremendous amount of complexity to the wines. Harvested grapes are sorted twice, and depending on the quality of the grapes Janasse will then adjust the vinification based on what is best. The percentage of stems kept, cold soak time, length of maceration, frequency of punching down the cap are all adjusted depending on the vintage. Each plot and tank require different techniques, and each is tasted daily to keep track and ensure the greatest quality. Aging takes place in the vessel most suited to the varietal in foudres and barrels of different sources and ages. The wines are detailed and dialed in examples of Chateauneuf du Pape, and the 2020s are worth a look.
Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 points! "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."
Decanter (Matt Walls) 96 points! "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."