Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017

Deep gold color; bright yellow fruit, yellow apple, lemon verbena, dried herbs on the nose; pear, yellow apple, stone fruit, light lemon, minerality, half-pat of butter on the palate.

Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017

Dry; bright, smooth, significant acidity. Touch of oak. Blend of 50% white grenache, 15% clairette, 15% bourboulenc, 10% viognier, 10% roussanne (according to website; there may be vintage variations). Vine ages range from 10 years to more than a century old. Medium body. Rich and bold for a white wine. Floridly fruity on the finish. Fruity, too, in the mid-palate, but not as floridly so.

All vines grown without pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides. Fertilized with natural manure. Grapes harvested and sorted by hand in the vineyard in the morning. Pneumatic pressing. Aged in vats on the lees with stirring for six months to add complexity and emphasize fruit.

After finishing his military service in 1967, winery founder Aimé Sabon took over tending his father’s vines. There was no winery, the Sabons sold to a cooperative. In 1973, Aimé built his own cellar and named it Domaine de la Janasse after the family farm in Courthézon, in the locality of La Janasse. In following years, Aimé aggressively expanded his operation from 37 acres to 222 acres.

Christophe, Aimé in the vineyard;

Today, Aimé’s oldest son, Christophe, runs the operation. The father handed Christophe the keys to the cellar in 1991 after Christophe earned a technical diploma in viticulture and oenology in Beaune and a marketing degree in Mâcon. In 2001, Aimé’s daughter, Isabelle, earned her oenology degree from the University of Toulouse and joined the family business. While the children are in charge today, Aimé and his wife, Hélène still participate.

Robert Parker notes: “I have long been a huge fan of the wines of the Sabon family of Domaine de la Janasse. Just about everything they make, from their Vin de Pays to their Côtes du Rhônes to their flagship Châteauneuf du Pape wines, are remarkable.”

Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017 is delightfully fruity, smooth easy drinker with acidity and weight of a Côtes du Rhône white. Although Domaine de la Janasse is better known for its Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this demonstrates their vineyards and winery can do white wine well, too. Works as aperitif; pair with fish, shrimp, shellfish; pork; cured meats; garden salad; mature and hard cheese. $22-27

La Janasse website

Hélène & Aimé Sabon
Isabelle & Christophe Sabon
Domaine de la Janasse team
Domaine de la Janasse harvest
Domaine de la Janasse fermentation room
Domaine de la Janasse grapes