One of my favorite wines in just about every vintage is the old vine cuvée from Janasse and the 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is another beautiful wine. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and the balance Syrah, aged in a mix of foudre and barrels, it offers terrific black fruits, crushed rocks, garrigue, and violet aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, concentrated, and beautifully balanced, with ripe tannin, it’s a joy to drink …
Tightly coiled for now, this features an intense, vivid core of anise, blackberry coulis, plum paste and macerated fig fruit, with black tea, smoldering tobacco and warm ganache notes. Long and dense, but very silky, with gorgeous violet and pastis details lingering in the background. Should unwind with time. (JM)
Christophe Sabon has long produced different bottlings of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, all of high quality. The Vieilles Vignes comes from vines over 100 years old, mostly Grenache. Part of the wine is aged in 600-litre barrels. The nose is remarkably perfumed and lifted, with spicy red-fruits aromas and a light toastiness. The wine is predictably powerful, but it's also tight and elegant, with fine-grained tannins and a delightful freshness on the long finish. Despite the high alcohol, the wine shows fine balance and no burn on the finish. (SB)
Inky ruby. Explosive aromas of dark berry preserves, incense and lavender, with a smoky overtone and bright minerality. Pliant and seamless in the mouth, offering intense, palate-staining cassis and blueberry flavors that are energized by juicy acidity. Shows real power and focus on the strikingly long finish, which features velvety tannins and a hint of candied flowers. There's 15% alcohol here, which is actually quite low for this bottling, and I don't detect any undue heat. (JR)
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