Roger Sabon 2020 Les Olivets Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone France

94
Wine Advocate

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94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Each of the red Châteauneuf-du-Papes from Domaine Roger Sabon comes from a different collection of terroirs. In Les Olivets, it is primarily from sandy limestone and rocky limestone soils in the northwestern part of the appellation – the lieux dits of Pradel and Les Devès d’Estouard. Always one of the best bargains in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Olivets is open-knit and vibrant, being a Grenache-based blend with 10% each Cinsault & Syrah.

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 con[1]centration 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.

 

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