Product information

Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Réserve’ 2019

Rhône Blend


$104ea in any 3+
$99ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork


“Gorgeous blackberry and morello cherry fruits as well as roasted herbs and licorice emerge from the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Réserve, a rich, full-bodied, downright decadent 2019 with sweet tannins and a broad, expansive mouthfeel. It has plenty of up-front appeal with its fruit yet has a solid spine of tannins that are going to keep it drinking nicely for 15-20 years.” 

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points, JC 94


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Check out all of the wines by Sabon

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

When I’m tasting Châteauneuf-du-Papes I’m always looking for freshness, or, perhaps, better put, wines that show no sign of being cooked or using raisined, jammy fruit. I want to see the fruit, harmony, balance, particularly in a region where potential alcohols can rocket up very quickly in the vineyard. Finally, in a region that has been prone to Brett, I want clean wines.

Sabon is ticking the boxes. I had the 2016 Reservée over a couple of nights and it’s brooding, and, dark, the palate has excellent flow and fine texture. I can see it developing beautifully as a little of the youthful puppy fat drops off and gives us a wine of increasing transparency. By all accounts with a much higher percentage of Grenache, as you move up to the ‘Secret’ you get a wine of increased elegance.

About Domaine Roger Sabon

Roger Sabon is a terrific source of traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape whereby the expression of fruit and terroir is everything and oak is applied judiciously. Sabon makes velvety wines with silky concentration, flesh and finesse utilising modern foudrés and some casks for elevage. Jean-Jacque’s son-in-law Didier Negron has been in charge for nearly a decade now and has raised the bar at this already first-class benchmark Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer.

“I continue to love the wines from Didier Negron at Roger Sabon, yet I always feel they’re underappreciated in the market. While they can certainly be big, rich wines (especially the Secret des Sabon), these are always classic, elegant wines that have beautiful Provençal charm. There are four Châteauneuf-du-Pape releases: the entry level Les Olivets (first made in 1955) from younger vines and completely destemmed; the Cuvée Reserve from a single vineyard and 70-80% Grenache, and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre, aged in foudre and oak tanks; the Cuvée Prestige based on 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and the rest mostly Mourvèdre that’s aged in foudre, oak tanks, and demi-muids; and the smallest production cuvée (there’s normally just 100 cases produced), the Le Secret des Sabon based mostly on Grenache.”

Jeb Dunnuck

In the Vineyard

In the Winery

The winemaking here sees the Châteauneuf’s on skins for around a month. Elevage is in large foudrés and old barriques, there’s no oak character to be seen. The blends vary with Grenache the mainstay. The 3 main wines have 70-80% Grenache with the balance Syrah, Mouvèdre, Cinsault and a few bits and pieces of other varieties depending on the wine. The ‘Secret’ sees the % of Grenache up at 95% with the balance co-planted odds and sods.

The style here is one of intensity with refinement and fine tannins.

The 2017 Vintage at Domaine Roger Sabon

Exceptional in many aspects, 2017 witnessed weather records that led to an early and small harvest. The main characteristic of this vintage however is certainly the outstanding quality of the wines produced. Well balanced wines, rich with beautiful silky tannins. Yields were way down at 23hl/ha caused by coulure during fruit set of the Grenache during the April cold spell. Rainfall was low; June and August were hot and pristine grapes were harvest from the beginning of September.

Where in the World is Domaine Roger Sabon?

Roger Sabon’s home is Châteauneuf-du-Papes in the southern Rhône.

A bit of History

Châteauneuf-du-Pape literally translates to “The Pope’s new castle” and, indeed, the history of this appellation is firmly entwined with papal history. In 1308, Pope Clement V, former Archbishop of Bordeaux, relocated the papacy to the town of Avignon. Clement V and subsequent “Avignon Popes” were said to be great lovers of Burgundy wines and did much to promote it during the seventy-year duration of the Avignon Papacy. At the time, wine-growing around the town of Avignon was anything but illustrious. While the Avignon Papacy did much to advance the reputation of Burgundy wines, they were also promoting viticulture of the surrounding area, more specifically the area 5–10 km (3–6 mi) north of Avignon close to the banks of the Rhône. Prior to the Avignon Papacy, viticulture of that area had been initiated and maintained by the Bishops of Avignon, largely for local consumption.

Clement V was succeeded by John XXII who, as well as Burgundy wine, regularly drank the wines from the vineyards to the north and did much to improve viticultural practices there. Under John XXII, the wines of this area came to be known as “Vin du Pape”, this term later to become Châteauneuf-du-Pape. John XXII is also responsible for erecting the famous castle which stands as a symbol for the appellation.

The Chateauneuf appellation is 15km long and 8km wide, consisting of 3200ha, and was officially delimited in 1930. All the hills of Chateauneuf have the same geology – Miocene soil covered by Alpine diluvium-composed of a layer of marine limestone from the Miocene period, covered by a blanket of rounded stones (or “galets”) which contribute much to the wines of Chateauneuf: they retain the intense heat of the Mediterranean sun during the day then slowly disperse it to the vines during the night.

The Mistral plays a crucial role in the quality of wines from the area and blows cold and dry wind from the north through the Rhone to the Mediterranean. These winds often blow at speeds greater than 100km per hour for more than 100 days of the year and are instrumental in keeping disease at bay in the vineyards.

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The Grape Varieties of Châteauneuf

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is traditionally cited as allowing thirteen grape varieties to be used, but the 2009 version of the AOC rules in fact list eighteen varieties, since blanc (white), rose (pink) and noir (black) versions of some grapes are now explicitly listed as separate varieties. Also in the previous version of the appellation rules, Grenache and Picpoul were associated with different pruning regulations in their noir and blanc versions, bringing the number of varieties previously mentioned from thirteen to fifteen.

Red varieties allowed are Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache noir, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Piquepoul noir, Syrah, Terret noir, and Vaccarèse (Brun Argenté). White and pink varieties are Bourboulenc, Clairette blanche, Clairette rose, Grenache blanc, Grenache gris, Picardan, Piquepoul blanc, Piquepoul gris, and Roussanne. (The varieties not specifically mentioned before 2009 are Clairette rose, Grenache gris and Piquepoul gris.)

Both red and white varieties are allowed in both red and white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. There are no restrictions as to the proportion of grape varieties to be used, and unlike the case with other appellations, the allowed grape varieties are not differentiated into principal varieties and accessory varieties. Thus, it is theoretically possible to produce varietal Châteauneuf-du-Pape from any of the eighteen allowed varieties. In reality, most Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are blends dominated by Grenache. Only one of every 16 bottles produced in the region is white wine.

94 Points

Gorgeous blackberry and morello cherry fruits as well as roasted herbs and licorice emerge from the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Réserve, a rich, full-bodied, downright decadent 2019 with sweet tannins and a broad, expansive mouthfeel. It has plenty of up-front appeal with its fruit yet has a solid spine of tannins that are going to keep it drinking nicely for 15-20 years.

Jeb Dunnuck

94 Points

A clear step up from the Les Olivets bottling in this vintage, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve features scents of plum and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, dense and packed with potential, it's also creamy and supple and finishes long and velvety.

Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine Roger SABON, Avenue Impériale, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France