97 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - The full-bodied 2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape le Secret de Sabon offers up stunning aromas of roses, raspberries, black cherries, pine sap and garrigue. Silky and elegant, it finishes long and mouthwatering. Almost entirely Grenache from a couple of old-vine parcels on sandier sites than the majority of the domaine's offerings, it's a beautiful wine by any measure.
96 Points Decanter - Full-bodied and powerful, but not over the top and with a great sense of freshness. It's expansive, with gently sweet, vibrant black cherry and kirsch notes within soft, pliable fruit tannins and a long finish. A remarkably precise and balanced wine, not the most powerful this year, but one of the most drinkable. Mostly grown on sand, fermented in stainless steel then aged in tronconic wooden vats.
Domaine Roger Sabon was founded in 1952 and is currently run by Roger’s sons Denis and Gilbert. The size of the domaine has grown slowly over the years with 18 hectares in Châteauneuf 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.
While Grenache is the mainstay at the Domaine, they also grow Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Terret Noire, Counoise, Vaccarèse Muscardin, Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenach 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 Secret des Sabon source. 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. There is a single demi-muid in the shadows in the cellar, which is presumably the Secret des Sabon, but once again, polite inquiries are met with a Gallic shrug.