Aime Sabon established this estate in 1973 when he took over from his father who had spent a lot of time and effort improving fruit quality but always sold the fruit to the local co-operative. The operation of the estate is now in the hands of Aime’s children, Christophe and Isabelle.
Grapes are 50-80% destemmed. The Grenache gets a short 3-day cold soak then undergoes a lengthy fermentation with daily punch downs before being aged in large foudre to have a slower micro-oxidation. The Syrah and Mourvedre, in contrast, are aged in smaller barrels to allow for more interaction with oxygen so as to mitigate the more tannic structure of these grape varietals. There is only a small portion of new wood. After 12-14 months the wine is blended and, after a further period in tank, is bottled the following spring.
In addition to the regular bottling - called Tradition – there is a Cuvee Chaupin, which comes from seven hectares of old vine Grenache aged in foudres and demi-muids, and a Vielles Vignes bottling from six hectares of old vine plantings of all three grape types located in different terroirs so as to complement each other – galets giving breadth and power, sand providing aromatics and fresh acidity, stony red clay providing structure and sandy limestone contributing finesse.
Domaine de la Janasse is an exceptional estate, blessed with a lot of old vines.
I was blown away by the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvee Chaupin, a 100% Grenache release that comes almost exclusively from the Chaupin lieu-dit in the northern part of the appellation. It's never as inky-hued or powerful as the Vieilles Vignes but always screams Grenache with its sexy, ripe, seamless, and remarkably elegant style. The 2020 offers a translucent ruby/purple hue as well as incredible aromatics of blackberries, black raspberries, peppery garrigue, herbes de Provence, and flowers, and it opens up nicely with time in the glass. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, it has silky tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. I finished my note with "a Grenache lover's dream." This is up with the finest vintages produced and will evolve for 15+ years.jd
All Grenache with about 20% to 30% whole bunches the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin is slightly herbal and stemmy on the nose but those elements are balanced by wonderful black cherry and blackberry fruit. Full-bodied concentrated yet silky with a long briny finish this is another strong 2020 from the Sabon family.
Ripe but very focused with a streamlined feel to the mix of raspberry red currant and bitter cherry fruit flavors. Reveals a racy apple wood note coursing underneath while licorice black tea and graphite fill in through the finish. Best from 2023 through 2038. ?J.M.