2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Domaine Roger Sabon

2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Domaine Roger Sabon

Product: 20131170487
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Domaine Roger Sabon

Description

Two small parcels in the eastern Courthézon sector do the honours here. Only one barrel is produced and the dominant component is Grenache, although Didier is not sure quite how dominant it actually is, let’s say more than 90 percent. The wine has an acrobatic tension between the acidity and the tannins, and the finish is long. The wine defies the apparent difficulties associated with Grenache in this year.
Simon Field MW - Rhône Buyer

Didier Negron makes a style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which is both glossy and immediately appealing, while at the same time maintaining the herbal complexity and garrigue charm for which the appellation is justly celebrated. How he achieves this is, as his top wine confirms, something of a secret. He describes 2013 as ‘heterogeneous’; he predicts that the wines will be appreciated for their relative delicacy and their elegant structure. There is nothing particularly profound in such observationsthe real profundity resides in the wines themselves which are uniformly excellent. One of the few special cuvees produced in the vintage, Sabon’s Grenache-dominated 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape le Secret de Sabon is a perfumed, elegant effort that has impressive aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of depth and high, yet sweet, tannin that emerges on the finish. I was shocked to see this level of quality out of a Grenache-driven cuvee in 2013. It should have an easy 15 years of longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate Issue#215 Oct 2014
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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

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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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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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate94/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate94/100
The Sabons were one of the few estates to release their top cuve in the vintage, and their 2013 Chteauneuf du Pape le Secret de Sabons will be one of the top two to three wines made that year. There are 300 cases of this beauty and it reveals a deep ruby color as well as classic southern Rhne notes of kirsch, blackberries, toasted spice and dried garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, pretty, seamless and lengthy, its a fair step back from top vintages such as the 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010, but a sensational 2013 that will have 10-15 years of longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck - 30/10/2015 Read more