Showing even better than when I tasted it for the 2004 retrospective earlier this year, the 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is about as rich and textured as they come in the vintage. Blackberry, licorice-laced cherries, sugared garrigue and crushed flowers all emerge from this full-bodied, supple and yet beautifully balanced wine. As with the Chaupin, it’s entering its prime drink window, and will continue to evolve gracefully. I’ll say again though, it’s drinking beautifully now. One of the benchmark estates in the Rhone Valley, Domaine de la Janasse is run by the talented brother/sister pair of Christophe and Isabelle Sabon. Located in the northeastern portion of the region, near Courthezon, they produce an incredible range of wines, from their Vin de Pays, to their Cotes du Rones and world-class Chateauneuf du Papes, all of which are noteworthy. For this tasting, we started with the 1990s and went up through their 2007s. At this point, the ‘98s through the 2004s are all in varying degrees of full maturity, and drinking brilliantly. In addition, it’s also worth pointing out that these wines have the fruit and texture to dish out immense pleasure in their youth, so don’t be afraid to crack these new releases either. Both of the 1999s were drinking beautifully, and are up near the top of the vintage. Moving to the 2000s, I found that from this point forward, the wines started to show more freshness and vibrancy. Looking specifically at this vintage, these are still mature wines, yet they’re drinking beautifully.