Sunday, June 8, 2008

Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone, 2005

Aime Sabon and his son Christophe (who is now in charge of producing wines at Domaine de la Janasse) appreciate Grenache, and they have many fine Grenache vines planted by their forebears at their estate between Courthezon and the Crau Plateau in the Southern Rhone. This is prime territory for Grenache, and the old vines are tended according to organic principles.

Domaine de la Janasse produces three cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape which are among the finest of the appellation and priced accordingly. This wine (55% Grenache, 25% Syrah plus Cinsault and Mourvedre) is their lowest priced Cotes du Rhone, and, in my view, one of the very best values of the appellation. It's a deep, bluish color, and the scents of Provencal gush from the glass--garrigue galore, then flowers and red and black berries. Deep and serious. Serious depth. On the mid-palate, there's still some tannin but the fruit still comes flowing through--sweet cherries and strawberries, smooth and luscious. This wine reminds me quite a bit of the 2005 Grand Prieur (high praise for either wine) and is a notch above the 2005 Grand Veneur in my estimation.

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