Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2012 Front Label
Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2012 Front LabelRoger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2012 Front Bottle Shot

Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2012

  • RP96
  • WS95
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The top wine of the estate, the tiny production 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon is almost all Grenache and was aged in 600-liter demi-muids. Gorgeous all around, with a sexy, voluptuous profile, it gives up notions of sweet blackberries, currants, underbrush, strawberry and mineral on the nose. Full-bodied, rich and brilliantly textured, with a relatively accessible profile, it should still be given a year, or three, in the cellar once released. It should age effortlessly for 15-20 years or more.

Range 94-96+ Points

WS 95
Wine Spectator
A lush, velvety style, with gorgeous flavors of raspberry ganache, plum pâte de fruit and cherry preserves, lined with ample graphite-edged grip and driving authoritatively through a finish studded with licorice snap, black tea and tar notes. Has power, grace and serious length. Impressive. Best from 2016 through 2026. 56 cases imported.
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Roger Sabon

Roger Sabon

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Roger Sabon, France
Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the morning Winery Image
"The Sabon family is an ancient and well-regarded name in Chateauneuf-du-Pape first mentioned in documents dating back 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 Chateauneuf-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 Chateauneuf, 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."

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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IPOEC5534_2012 Item# 134212

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