La Janasse at The Oxford Wine Circle

Oxford University
Tasted Tuesday, January 15, 2013 by Cesar Riviere with 485 views

Introduction

William Kelley, president of the Oxford Wine Circle, invited me to this dazzling tasting where many of the most compelling Janasse were presented by Christophe Sabon and his wife. We first attended an official tasting in one of St Johns College's tasting room to eventually drag down some of the "left overs" to William Kelley and his buds' dining room in a flamboyant new building of Oxford University.

Flight 1 - Oxford Wine Circle's tasting... (9 Notes)

  • 2011 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Tradition 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    With its extremely seductive nose, this Janasse 2011 white Chateauneuf du Pape beautifully introduces what is thence a precisely crafted mouth and final. ALthough the Roussanne is not shy in this wine, it gets softened up by the other white varietals present in the blending, making of this wine a more elegant Chateauneuf than most of its siblings of the appellation.

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  • 2010 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône 86 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône

    A great QPR as long as it stays under the 8€ bar, this Cotes-du-Rhone displays peppery aromas of bluberries. Its final is short but well built up, nice!

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  • 2011 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Villages Terre d'Argile 89 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages

    Displaying a darker and denser robe than the entry level Cotes du Rhone, this Terre d'Argile 2011 is also way more profound and fater than the former wine.
    The mouth is full of provençal spices and dark berries. A wine worth making the effort to seek after. Score is 89+

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  • 1999 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Extremelly delicate and Chaupin-like, this 1999 seems like to be an unourished Chaupin as it doesn't have either of the structure, the concentration and the matter of its younger peers. I don't see any reason to age this any further.

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  • 2001 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 96 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    I had glowing examples of this terrific Vieilles Vignes twice at the Veritas, NYC, to the extend that I rated them 98 and 99. This showing was regretfully less compelling, although still amazing, and more on secondaries aromas such as pine and humus. At this level, many factors can imply such a score variation, plus I absolutely don't think this wine has left its prime yet.

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  • 1998 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    According to Christophe Sabon, 1998 was a great vintage with a weird evolution: from age 0 to 3, the 1998s were outgoing, fruity, and round; then, those wines entered a weird phase to get down an oxidative road. Today, those wines unleash their greatness and get back to what could have at first been expected from them... and, indeed, this Janasse Vieilles Vignes 1998 behaves extremelly nicely but, to me, it's less structured than the 2001.

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  • 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin 98 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    This is fat, full bodied and extremelly flavorfull. Extremelly well organised and present, it's totally ongoing and easier to get through than the 2010. A beautiful expression of Grenache, this Chaupin 2009 represents a trendemous value for what it's currently being sold for -around 55€- and, as its big brother Vieilles Vignes 2009, is wildly open for business: I would have NO regrets drinking this mostly at this age.

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  • 2010 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin 99 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    This is a definition a finesse in a glass. It has the Chaupin style but is way more classic and universal than its 2009 relative. Awesomely made up and full bodied, this Chaupin would also satisfy the ones looking for delicateness in their Southern Rhone wines. This will hit its prime with age, no doubt about that.

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  • 2010 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 100 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Atta kind of a wine! I would have made the trip to Oxford solely to taste this natural beauty. It extremelly more powerful and even more compex than the Chaupin of the same vintage; this Janasse Vieilles Vignes 2010 just blew my senses away. Scientifically...it has everything you would like to get from Chateauneuf-du-Pape vieilles vignes, Period.

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Flight 2 - ...Followed by a terrific dinner (3 Notes)

  • 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 99 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Extremelly rococo and in the Vieilles Vignes style, it's fruity and velvety but got outbeaten by the 2010. This compact Chateauneuf du Pape is a real treat though. Its legs were fat to present a velvety purple robe opening on some black berries fruits. The minute 50+ secondes final was a balad in a provencal market underlining the authenticity and modernity -because it is as sophisticated as it gets- of this beauty.

    Drink now as it's in a perfect place.

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  • 2007 Domaine de Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Definitely full bodied, although the robe is not as dense as the mouth, this real treat is extremelly packed and beautifully built up. This is a boosted Ferrand with a unique profile. WOW! Thank you, William Kelley, for having popped one of those at your dinner as it's a true ringer!

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  • 2006 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée les Grenaches de Pierre 94 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Although I didn't fully get to this wine, it was definitely seductive with its soft and velvety structure well presenting its medium to full bodied mouth. Drink it now or cellar it for a few years.

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Closing

This event was a complete blast as the wines presented were showing extremelly well and all the partcipants were honored to get together to celebrate the otherwordiness of this compelling domain. At the end of the tasting, the whole room filled of enlightened student infinitely applauded Christophe Sabon for his presentation as if demanding for an Encore.

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