Robert Parker 91
The Sabons produced three Chateauneufs in 2011. Starting out, the classic 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape, which is a rough blend of 75-80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and the balance Mourvedre and Cinsault, displays beautiful kirsch, raspberry, spice and dusty soils aromas (among other things) as well as a medium-bodied, silky, elegant and finesse-driven style on the palate. With good mid-palate depth and fine tannin on the finish, it should have around a decade of longevity. Drink now-2021. Located in the town of Courthezon, and covering 38 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and 100 acres in Cotes du Rhone, Domaine de la Janasse is run by the brother/sister pair, Christophe and Isabelle Sabon. While 2011 was a difficult vintage throughout the region, you wouldn’t know it by tasting here. These wines are superb across the board and should not be missed. Importer: Eric Solomon, European Selections, Charlotte, NC; tel. (704) 358-1565
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021
Vivid purple. Intense dark berry compote, anise and Indian spice scents show excellent power and depth. Stains the palate with sweet black and blue fruit flavors and picks up a sexy floral nuance with aeration. Atypically dense and complex for an entry-level bottling, this wine finishes with superb clarity and length and smooth, harmonious tannins.