Côtes du Rhône 2022 – Domaine De La Janasse.
France’s Rhône region is a wealth and abundance when it comes to terroir, grapes and wines. The Rhone Valley is one of the oldest, if not oldest, wine regions in France and produces great white and red wines. In this review we are discussing a beautiful red, classified as a Côtes du Rhône, the 2022 Côtes du Rhône by Domaine De La Janasse.
About the Region
The Rhône valley, named of course after the famous river Rhône. Starting in Switzerland (with 267 kilometers) and heading for the Mediterranean Sea, through the whole of France for about 545 kilometers, making it a total of 812 kilometers long. Of course, known for a couple of big French wines such as Château-Neuf-du-Pape, Condrieu, Gigondas, Hermitage and Beaumes de Venise.
The larger Rhône region is located in the south-east of France and is known to be the oldest wine region of France, dating back to 600 before Christ, when the ancient Greeks made their wines here. Today it is an area with over 80 hectares of vineyards, covering the banks of the river, for over 200 kilometers. The differences in the Northern and Southern part are big.
There are 25 individual winegrowing regions, in 6 departments: Loire, Rhône, Ardèche, Drôme, Vaucluse and Gard. Within this big wine region there are 21 different grape varieties planted. In the Northern part its mostly Syrah and in the South its mostly Grenache Noir for the reds. For whites, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier lead the numbers. Most of the wine, almost 80%, is produced in the southern part, of which 82% is red. Here the famous Mistral winds take care of the vineyards.
Over 6,000 wineries are making more than 2.400.000 hectoliters each year. A lot of wine, and a lot of diversity because of the length of the valley. In the Northern part we see a lot of granite soils, but in the south, you will find mostly clay and sand soils. The climate varies a lot throughout the region, with a land climate in the North and a much warmer Mediterranean climate in the South. All of this makes the Rhône Valley a diverse and vibrant winegrowing region, never boring and of high quality!
About the Winery
Domaine De La Janasse is located in the region Côtes-Du-Rhône within the Château-Neuf-du-Pape appellation. In 1973 Aimé Sabon took over the winery from his father, who was selling his grapes to a big cooperation since 1912. Starting with 15 hectares of vineyards they have grown to more than 90 hectares. Aimé’s son Christophe joined his father in 1991, and 10 years later also his daughter Isabelle joined the winery.
Christophe is the winemaker and works with a lot of grape varieties: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Marsanne, Roussanne, Carignan, Bourboulenc and Counoise. All wines are made in a traditional way and are well known for power and finesse. The vineyards are on a stony soil, with sand and a lot of rocks, making work difficult. Their vines are between 40 and 90 years of old and situated on steep slopes, where harvest is done by hand. The yields are low, only 30 hectoliters per hectare, because of a strict grape selection. This selection takes place in the vineyard as well as the winery after harvest. Christophe does a really strict ‘vendange verte’ (cutting off a lot of berries in the first stage of growing), to work with few but healthy and powerful grapes. Domaine De La Janasse became famous in 2007, when their Château-Neuf-du-Pape “Vieilles Vignes” was awarded 100 points by Robert Parker. The quality of this Domaine is so high that even their ‘normal Côtes-du-Rhône’ wine is well known around the world!
About the Wine
We have tasted the ‘Domaine De La Janasse 2022 Côtes du Rhône’.
This is a blend of Grenache (40%), Carignan (20%), Syrah (15%) and Cinsault (5%) coming from the commune ‘Courthézon’. As mentioned earlier all grapes are picked by hand after a strict grape selection in ‘vendange verte’ and at harvest. After that the grapes are pressed for 80%, and 20% whole bunches are used and fermented for 9 to 15 days on the full yeast. In the last phase, after filtering, the wine is aged for 8 months in small oak barriques (first and second used barrels).
The wine has a clear and dark (blood) red color and greets you with a smell of fresh strawberries upon pouring. After this first encounter the wine opens with a nice smell of dark forest fruit, that jumps out of the glass. Lots of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. After a deeper sniff earthy tones such as beetroot and mushroom come to mind, along with a bit of licorice, some cherries and a subtle hint of pencil shavings in the end.
On the palette the wine presents itself as fruity, with soft and well-balanced tannins. There still is some freshness, with a little herbal tone in the back. A wine with a full but balanced body, which is never too heavy. The use of barriques is done excellently, giving us a mouth full of wine, totally balanced and never to oaky. All in all, this is a well-made wine, checking all boxes that a good Côte-du-Rhône should!
This Domaine De La Janasse 2022 Côtes du Rhône is perfectly executed. A wine featuring well balanced flavors and a great mix between fruitiness and body. A powerful wine, but never overpowered. Silky smooth tannins and nice fruit structures make this wine a pleasure to drink, longing for more! Bien Fait Christophe!
We award this Côtes du Rhône with a 91-point DWA score.
This wine is reviewed by our own Martijn Coenen. The wines of Domaine De La Janasse are imported in the Netherlands by Goessens Professionals in Wine and available through associated retailers and restaurants.
Taste date: October 2023
Score: 91/100 DWA Score
Website: Domaine De La Janasse