Very solid for the vintage, with ripe, fleshy layers of plum compote, raspberry preserves and blackberry pâte de fruit. Lots of anise and graphite line the finish, with ample depth in reserve. Best from 2015 through 2028. 400 cases imported.
The same thing is true for its sibling, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes. This cuvee comes from four parcels of the estate’s oldest vines, and tends to be 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah. The Grenache is always aged in foudre and the other cepages aged in small oak. The three terroirs include Les Soumades (primarily red clay soils), La Crau, old vines near Chateau Beaucastel, and the terroir after which this estate is named, Janasse, which is primarily clay and limestone covered by the thick carpet of stones known as the galets roules. Achieving 16.5% natural alcohol in 2011 was no easy task, but this wine is not the least bit hot. Full-bodied, intense and opulent, it may be the wine of the vintage, not only in Chateauneuf du Pape, but in all of southern France. This amazing effort transcends the vintage. It is a tribute to the extraordinary viticultural and winemaking perfection/obsession of Christophe and Isabelle Sabon and their father. This black/purple-hued 2011 exhibits lots of cassis, floral, black raspberry and kirsch characteristics as well as potential longevity of 10-15 years or longer. It is an amazing effort for the vintage!
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