1995 Domaine de la Janasse
Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France
A decent step up over the other two cuvees, the 1995 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a complete, full-bodied, layered and balanced wine that’s drinking beautifully. Giving up loads of chocolate-laced dark fruit, cured meats, spice and sweet garrigue, it’s fully mature, yet has the concentration and depth to continue drinking nicely for 3-5 years.
One of the benchmark estates in the Rhone Valley, Domaine de la Janasse is run by the talented brother/sister pair of Christophe and Isabelle Sabon. Located in the northeastern portion of the region, near Courthezon, they produce an incredible range of wines, from their Vin de Pays, to their Cotes du Rones and world-class Chateauneuf du Papes, all of which are noteworthy. For this tasting, we started with the 1990s and went up through their 2007s. At this point, the ‘98s through the 2004s are all in varying degrees of full maturity, and drinking brilliantly. In addition, it’s also worth pointing out that these wines have the fruit and texture to dish out immense pleasure in their youth, so don’t be afraid to crack these new releases either. Both of the 1999s were drinking beautifully, and are up near the top of the vintage. Moving to the 2000s, I found that from this point forward, the wines started to show more freshness and vibrancy. Looking specifically at this vintage, these are still mature wines, yet they’re drinking beautifully.
Rated 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate