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Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret des Sabon 2017  - First Bottle


99 Jeb Dunnuck -
On another level, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Le Secret Des Sabon is stacked and packed and ranks with the top 2-3 wines in this great vintage. A huge nose of blackcurrants, melted licorice, graphite, garrigue and pepper gives way to an uber-full-bodied, concentrated, massively endowed wine that has an insane level of opulence and decadent, sweet tannins, and a huge finish. This is a tour de force in wine that readers need to taste to believe. Given its wealth of fruit and texture, it’s already approachable, yet a solid 4-5 years of bottle age are warranted, and it's going to keep for 25 years or more. Bravo! As always, this cuvée is a field blend that’s 95% Grenache, with the balance a mix of varieties, mostly from sandy soils, brought up in oak tronconique tanks.
97 Decanter -
Low yields of just 23hl/ha in 2017. The partly destemmed old-vine Grenache is grown mostly on sand, fermented in stainless steel then aged in tronconic wooden vats. This wine has great depths - it's like wading into a dark pool. Blackberry, violet, and blackcurrant aromas lead to a very full, mouthcoatingly plump palate with ripe, juicy Grenache fruit. It has remarkable power, energy and purity with a very persistent fruit expression. Crucially, this profound wine has enough structure in 2017 to hold it all together. Just 3,000 bottles made.
97 Wine Enthusiast -
Editors Choice - With 95% of the grapes being Grenache sourced primarily from old vines on sandy soils, this is an irresistibly fleshy yet pure-fruited sip packed with raspberry and boysenberry goodness. It's a thrilling, mouthdrenching red shaded by whispers of earth, sweet spice and bramble. Tannins are chalky but have surprising grip in youth. A powerful wine that needs a bit of time to meld but should approach peak by 2023 and age beautifully.
96+ Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Almost all Grenache from two old-vine parcels, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape le Secret de Sabon has morphed during its élevage in oak tank to reveal a darker side. While last year it was all red fruit and roses, this year it shows more plum, licorice, cola and cocoa. It remains wonderfully full-bodied yet light in feel, framed by firm tannins but also creamy and rich on the mid-palate, offering an array of conflicting sensations that emerge harmonious on the long finish. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes. This benchmark estate continues to turn out a stable of excellent wines under the stewardship of Didier Negron. "In '18, we had a very good September—no rain, 30 degrees—and the result is interesting," he said. In his opinion, the estate was lucky to have a small crop in 2017, as it was all the vines could sustain under the dry conditions of that summer. The key, said Negron, is "the need to adapt to vintage conditions. Sixteen, '17, '18, show it's not possible to have a recipe here. It's important to keep a good balance of acidity and freshness to avoid too high levels of alcohol.
95 Wine Spectator -
Ripe, with a good range to the mix of red and black currant, cherry and dark plum fruit compote flavors, all supported by singed alder, leather and licorice root notes. Shows a bit more grip than most in this generally forward-styled vintage.
94-95 Vinous -
Shimmering magenta. A vibrant, mineral-accented nose evokes ripe red berries, garrigue, incensce and exotic spices. Juicy, focused and seamless in texture, showing impressive clarity and spicy lift to the sweet raspberry liqueur, cherry cola, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors. Silky, even tannins add shape and grip to an impressively long, sweet, floral-driven finish that shows outstanding focus and tension.

Technical Details

  • Blend95% Grenache and 5% other
  • WinemakerDidier Nigron
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionRhone
  • AppellationChateauneuf-du-Pape
  • Alcohol15.5%
  • Production250 Cases cases

Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret des Sabon 2017

Grenache  |  France
JD99, DC97, WE97, WA96+, WS95, VN94-95

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Roger Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon 2017 is an exceptional wine that embodies the essence of the Chateauneuf du Pape region. Made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes, this wine is rich and full-bodied with a deep ruby color. On the nose, it presents an intense bouquet of black fruits, spices, and hints of vanilla. On the palate, it offers a powerful and complex taste that lingers on the finish. The tannins are well-integrated, providing a smooth and elegant texture. This wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, adding to its complexity and depth of flavor. Overall, Roger Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon 2017 is a top-tier wine that would pair well with a range of hearty dishes, making it a great addition to any wine collection.

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 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 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 and 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, Vaccarase 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 Courth?zon, and are the source for the Secret des Sabon.