Roger Sabon Chateauneaf Du Pape Reserve

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The Sabon family is an ancient and well-regarded name in Châteauneuf-du-Pape first mentioned in documents dating to 1540. Perhaps not as venerable as the Ameniers of Domaine de Marcoux and Domaine Giraud, but still eminently respectable. A more recent patriarch of the family, Seraphin Sabon first bottled wine in the appellation under the family’s name in 1921. He also fathered three very enterprising sons, all of whom established their own domaines: Joseph Sabon at Clos du Mont Olivet, Noel Sabon at Chante Cigale and Roger Sabon. The Sabons are like the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young of the village.

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!

Les Olivets represents a classically provençale style of Châteauneuf, redolent with dried herbs and bright red fruit while Prestige is dense, structured and darkly fruited. Between these two styles is Didier’s Reserve, a blend of Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault from vines between 60 and 75 years old. While Olivets comes almost entirely from gravelly, red clay soils, the Reserve also includes fruit from limestone and sandy terroirs. It is aged in foudres and 600L French oak demi-muids.