2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Roger Sabon, Rhône

2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Roger Sabon, Rhône

Product: 20091170487
Prices start from £425.00 per case Buying options
2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Roger Sabon, Rhône

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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Description

Jean-Jacques Sabon and his loquacious winemaker son-in-law Didier Negron farm seventeen hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Their thirteen parcels yield four impressively diverse cuvées of which Le Secret is recognised as one of the greatest wines in the whole appellation. The house philosophy is built upon a regime of lengthy macerations allied to gentle extractions of fruit. Didier, rather unusually, compares 2009 with 2006, but underlines that the current vintage has more power and ageing potential.

The Chteauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret cuvée is dominated by Grenache, but it is a fairly open secret that the most of the remainder is old-vine Mourvèdre. The quality of the fruit is outstanding and in no way undermines the rich, creamy texture of the wine with its finely-honed and outstandingly pure tannins. This is superb.

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate95/100
Similar to the 2011, the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret du Sabon sports a big, full-bodied and mouthfilling profile to go with ripe blackberry, kirsch, flowers, licorice and earth-like aromas and flavors. Although showing incredibly well on release, and also at this tasting, I've had a few disappointing bottles of this from my cellar. Nevertheless, all of the wines have been fabulously concentrated and rich, so I suspect it just needs another year or two in the cellar.
Jeb Dunnuck - 28/08/2014 Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
Warm, integrated nose. Quite subtle tar and liquorice nose without any particular heat. Well-integrated palate. Very well behaved! Good balance. Really rather sophisticated. Dry but not drying finish.
(Jancis Robinson MW , Julia Harding MW - jancisrobinson.com - 17 Nov 2010) Read more

About this WINE

Domaine Roger Sabon

Domaine Roger Sabon

Roger Sabon is described by Robert Parker as "one of the more intellectual vignerons in Châteauneuf du-Pape".

His vineyard holdings are surprisingly small, around 14 hectares, which are divided between his properties in Lirac, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes du Rhône. The Châteauneuf vineyards are well situated in Les Cabrieres, La Crau, Courtherzon and Nalys and the average age of his vines is unusually high with some of them dating back to the early 1900s.

The general cepage is made up of 70% Grenache although this is reduced in his top two cuvées, the Cuvee Reservee and he Cuvée Prestige. Roger Sabon is a traditionalist and prefers to age his wines in small oak piece, none of which are new, for six months following a sojourn en cuve. He places great emphasis upon elegance rather than power in his wines and in youth his wine can be deceiving.

With time, however, they grow and gain in depth and complexity and are some of the finest Châteauneufs being produced today.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

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