Black raspberries and flowers gently intertwine on the nose of the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige, a Grenache-dominated blend drawn from the lieux-dits of les Brusquières and Cabrières. Full-bodied and silky, it's dense and rich yet finishes fresh, adding seemingly contradictory hints of dark chocolate.
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Prestige is a solid step up and brings another level of purity and precision. Based on 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties, it has stunning aromatics of red and black fruits, roasted garrigue, spring flowers, and a hint of graphite. With full-bodied richness, moderate acidity, ripe, velvety tannins, and one heck of a great finish, it’s one of the gems in the vintage.
The 2020 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige is a terrific success. Dazzling aromas of ripe raspberry, red and black cherry, blueberry, black plum, dried thyme, bay leaves, licorice, cured meat and a pinch of white pepper from the glass. Full-bodied, concentrated and enveloped in velvety tannins, it is well-balanced by lively acidity, ending with a bold finish.
Dark and brooding, this reveals layers of black fruit edged in iron and smoke. Tightly coiled on the palate, with highlights of violet, tea, forest floor and cumin emerging with time. Slightly grippy tannins hold firm, and this will benefit from a few years in the cellar for the full range of flavors to open up. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Vaccarèse.
Plentiful brooding dark fruits, this is bold, rounded and powerful. Riper and deeper than many this year, with massy ripe tannins. The alcohol does seem a little high, but the acidity is balanced and it finishes long and intense. Grown on mixed soils, mostly galets roulés and sand, in the lieux-dits of Les Brusquières and Cabrières. Fermented half in stainless steel, half in concrete tanks, then aged in large barrels of different shapes and sizes.
Blend70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties
Vineyardlieux-dits of les Brusquières and Cabrières
Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Prestige 2020
Red Blends | France
WA94-96, JD95, VN95, WS94, DC93, GG92
25% off retail!
Price drops to $54.95 per bottle when you purchase 6 or more bottles!
The Roger Sabon family’s success in Châteauneuf’s puzzling 2020 vintage continues with this 94-96 point CdP. For over 70 years, the Sabon family has been running and building this top Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate – and the quality exhibited in these past several vintages proves that things are better than ever. At our special price, we’re already 25% below retail, but if you get six or more of these utterly classic CdPs – the discount drops to over 31%!
The Roger Sabon estate has grown slowly over the decades, now covering a total of 50 hectares in the Southern Rhone. Most of these holdings are in Lirac, across the river from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with additional holdings falling under the Cotes du Rhone designation. But here, in this wine, the focus is 18 hectares spread over 14 separate plots across the varied soils of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A blend of 70% grenache, 20% syrah, and a 10% compilation of CdP’s “other” grapes make up the basis for this Cuvee Prestige – the majority of the fruit hailing from the Sabon’s old vines at Les Brusquières and Cabrières in the far north of the region. The fruit is almost entirely de-stemmed and undergoes a long but gentle maceration of some thirty-plus days. The length of the skins provides power and depth, while the gentle handling grants the wine the Sabon’s hallmark of freshness and elegant character.
The resulting wine is silky, elegant, and strikingly precise. A deep layer of ripe black and red fruits vies with structured elements of iron ore and smoke, and a dash of graphite for good measure. Balancing notes of roasted herbs, violets, and Assam tea add complexity, and the finish is unified with a rich and heady dark chocolate note. The wine thrives and expands with time in the glass, so decanting is certainly recommended. While many producers seemed to have struggled with consistency in the 2020 CdP vintage, the Sabon’s entire portfolio has shown that they are perhaps the most successful across the board among Chateauneuf’s top producers. Check out the great comments from the critics below, and be sure to snag six or more bottles to lock in that exceptional price!
PAIRING IDEAS: Keep things classic with the region’s famous Daube de Boeuf – playfully updated in this recipe with segments of oranges to brighten things up. Beef cheeks are ideal for something next-level tender, but any beef stew meat will work in a pinch!
About the Producer
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 a 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 Cotes-du-Rhone.
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, 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 Courthezon, and are the source for the Secret des Sabon.