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Date Printed: 7/28/2016
Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2010
Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2010
(search item no. 119912)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 99 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2016: $189.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2012 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points

Winemaker's Notes:

First made in 1998, Le Secret des Sabon is made from centenarian vines, planted by Seraphin Sabon. This very small production wine is made predominantly from Grenache, but the exact grape variety blend is a Sabon family secret.

The wines of the Domaine are the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the winemaker and each portion of the land. Didier and Jean-Jacques maintain the old traditions and alchemy of the wine cellar revealing the secrets and subtle potentialities of the vines. Their winemaking involves a century-old savoir-faire that preserves and expresses the different aromatic nuances of each variety of grape.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Roger Sabon:

About Roger Sabon:

"The Sabon family is an ancient and well-regarded name in Châteauneuf-du-Pape first mentioned in documents dating to 1540. Perhaps not as venerable as the Ameniers of Domaine de Marcoux and Domaine Giraud, but still eminently respectable. A more recent patriarch of the family, Seraphin Sabon first bottled wine in the appellation under the family’s name in 1921. He also fathered three very enterprising sons, all of whom established their own domaines: Joseph Sabon at Clos du Mont Olivet, Noel Sabon at Chante Cigale and Roger Sabon. The Sabons are like the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young of the village. Domaine Roger Sabon was founded in 1952 and is currently run by Roger’s sons Denis and Gilbert. A third son, Jean-Jacques is deceased but his son-in-law Didier Negron is the current winemaker. Denis and his son Julien oversee the farming while Gilbert and his niece, Delphine run the office. It is quite the family affair! The size of the domaine has grown slowly over the years with 18 hectares in Chateauneuf du Pape, 8 hectares in Lirac and 8 hectares in Côtes-du-Rhône. Most of their holdings in Châteauneuf-du-Pape are located in the northeastern part of the appellation, where the soils are sandier with a high concentration of limestone. They also own a few parcels in Le Crau famous for its red clay under a deep layer of galets deposited from the alps eons ago. These two soil types combine to make wines that are equally rich and nuanced. Since 2001 Didier Negron has made the wines at Domaine Roger Sabon, but recently he’s begun to move away from demi-muids and barriques in favor of aging his family’s wines in concrete and large French oak foudres. While the terroir of Roger Sabon, with its high concentration of sand and limestone, has always been inclined to a more ethereal and delicate style of Châteauneuf, Didier’s changes in the cellar have amplified these qualities – the wines have never been more engaging and lovely. While Grenache is the mainstay at the Domaine, they also grow Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Terret Noire, Counoise, Vaccarèse Muscardin, Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc. They own some fairly old Syrah, about 60 years old, located on limestone soils which is an important component in the Prestige bottling. Their oldest vines, topping 100 years old, are located in two plots near Courthézon, and are the source for the Secret des Sabon. While details are sketchy and the Sabons are shy about divulging any information about this cuvée, it is safe to assume that these vines are primarily Grenache. In the cellar there is a single demi-muid in the shadows which is presumably the Secret des Sabon, but once again polite inquires are met with a Gallic shrug."