2003 Roger Sabon CDP le Secret de Sabon

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2003 Roger Sabon CDP le Secret de Sabon

The 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon is extremely powerful and full-bodied with that note of truffle oil, burning embers, and roasted meats along with melted licorice, creme de cassis, blackberry and cherry. Dense, full-bodied, and expansive, with high glycerin and what must be at least 16+% alcohol, this is a formidable Chateauneuf du Pape that should drink well for 15+ years.

Robert Parker | 96 RP

Wine Details on 2003 Roger Sabon CDP le Secret de Sabon

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Producer Roger Sabon: The Southern Rhone Valley in France has become a tremendous source for high quality “user-friendly” wines. From the iconic Chateauneuf-Du-Pape AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) to the price-friendly AOC’s of Lirac, Rasteau and Cotes-Du-Rhone, wines of varied profiles have become immensely popular among enthusiasts and collectors alike. The esteemed wine critic, Robert Parker, describes Southern Rhone as “The greatest quality/price ratio of any top red wine region in the world”. Although it might seem novel, winemaking in the region has a long and storied history, with ancient names, such as Beaucastel, Clos des Papes, Pegau and Clos Saint Jean. Perhaps the oldest name in Southern Rhone is none other than Sabon, which predates even Beaucastel (1549) by nine years.

A more recent patriarch of the family, Seraphin Sabon, first bottled wine in the appellation under the family’s name in 1921. He fathered three successful sons whom all established their own domains, Joseph Sabon at Clos du Mont Olivet, Noel Sabon at Chante Cigale and Roger Sabon, who founded the eponymous estate in 1952. The domaine 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.

After several generations, the estate has reached a total surface of 50 hectares split on either side of the Rhone River: 18 hectares belong to the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape appellation on the left bank of the River, and spread over 14 different plots, including the famous La Crau Plateau. On the right bank, the vineyard includes 12 hectares in the Lirac appellation, 6 hectares of Cotes-Du-Rhone and 14 hectares of Vin de France.

The property lies on tremendous terroir with sometimes radically different geological profiles; limestone soils located west of the appellation, sands and fine sandstones, deep clay and limestone sub-soils and the ever present and famous Galets Roules (large round pebbles). Planting of varietals is strategically implemented with care and cognizance of terroir, natural landscape and the probability of the varietal to flourish. Nearly all 13 permitted grape varietals are utilized at Roger Sabon, but most importantly, in the production of their Chateauneuf-Du-Pape wines, Grenache is greatly involved in the blending of reds, complimented by Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Clairette are used to produce the prestigious white Chateauneuf label, Renaissance.

Roger Sabon offers an impressive selection of Chateauneuf-du-Papes: Olivet, Reserve, Prestige, Le Secret des Sabon and their Renaissance (blanc). Two more appellation wines, Rhone by Roger Sabon and Lirac by Roger Sabon representing the Cotes-Du-Rhone and Lirac AOC’s respectively, offer incredible quality-to-price offerings, while the Plaisir75cl (red and white) and Le Sabounet round out the portfolio for those looking for an introduction to Southern Rhone, terroir-driven wines. Each label is offered in small quantities, with the annual production of the white Chateauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance producing only 175 cases and the Les Secret des Sabon, a mere 150 cases.
Region Rhone: While the Northern Rhone produces only about 5% of all wine coming out of the Rhone Valley, the quality of these bottles is not to be underestimated. The terroir in this region is heavenly for growing Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne or Rousanne - the only permitted grapes in the AOC. Picture this - the Rhone flows through the valley like an azure thread piercing the landscape, a reflection of the dreamy skies hovering above the vineyards, ready to produce rainfall at a moment's notice. The rocky soil of the steep, almost surreal hillsides provides a bountiful feast for the grapevine roots. The flavors and texture of Northern Rhone wines tell you everything you need to know as soon as your lips touch the elixir, like a whisper in the vigorous valley winds

As per the Southern Rhone wine, it is like taking a plunge into a whirlpool of juicy flavor. Every sip explodes forward like a crashing tsunami, bathing your tastebuds in delicious aromas of prune, chocolate, grass, and black fruit. The wines are so compelling that it can be hard to drink them casually at a social event without getting lost in their intricate textures and emotional depths. Let's set sail together, and drink deep from these luxurious bottles with our friends and loved ones.
Subregion Southern Rhone
Appellation Chateauneuf Du Pape
Country France: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Type of Wine Chateauneuf du Pape: You can expect Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds selection to wash over you with a combination of leather, game, tar, and delicious dried herbs, creating a spice mixture that commands respect from even the harshest non-believers. Chateauneuf-du-Pape whites are ever so refreshing and bold, frolicking in a field of floral notes and earthy minerals.
Varietal Proprietary Blend: Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

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