Arthur Sellers Bulletin Archive
Didier Négron and Hélène at the gates of Domaine Roger Sabon
Dear Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club Member:
We hadn’t intended to offer the 2014 Domaine Roger Sabon Châteauneuf du Pape so soon, but their glowing reviews in the October 15, 2016 issue of the ‘Wine Spectator’ forced our hand. Ranging from a 92/100 for ‘Les Olivets’ to a 95/100 for the vaunted ‘Le Secret des Sabon’, the wine world will be sure to snap up these treasures in no time. We wanted to make sure that our Members would not be disappointed, so here they are.
Domaine Roger Sabon
Domaine Roger Sabon came into being in 1952 when the family vineyards were split into three distinct entities (the other two being Domaine Chante-Cigale and Clos Mont Olivet). Robert M. Parker, Jr., who awarded their 1988 vintage a perfect 100 rating, the first Châteauneuf du Pape so honoured, had this to say about Domaine Roger Sabon. “This estate has been at the top of its game for many years and any partisan of Rhône Valley wines (especially the southern Rhône) who has not yet tried a wine from Domaine Roger Sabon should make every effort to do so. They produce four separate Châteauneuf du Pape cuvées at this 42-acre estate run by the large Sabon family, in this case, Jean-Jacques (deceased), Julien, Gilbert and Denis (Note: the helm has been turned over to the succeeding and equally capable generation - Didier Négron, Delphine and Julien Sabon). They own 15 parcels spread throughout the appellation, most of them concentrated in the western and eastern sectors north of the village.
The domaine occupies about seventeen hectares of prime vineyards in some of the best sites of Châteauneuf - Les Cabrières, La Crau, Courthezon and Nalys, and all with "galets roulés" the sizeable white stones that soak up the sun and release the warmth to the vines at night. The vines are a minimum age of 50 years, with 90-year-old vines for the Cuvée Prestige. They are mainly Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, but Muscardin, Terret, Vaccarèse and Counoise are also included in their Cuvée Prestige. All of the grapes have been totally destemmed since the 1997 vintage. Fermentation takes place in small cement vats and small stainless steel cuves, with pumping over and a cuvaison that lasts for 20 days at temperatures between 30° and 34°. The wine is matured in foudres and used barriques, and receives neither fining nor filtration.
The Domaine Roger Sabon Wines on Offer
We are delighted to offer you the Sabons’ four red Châteauneuf du Pape from the 2014 vintage - ‘Les Olivets’, ‘Réserve’, ‘Prestige’ and ‘Le Secret des Sabon’. Each comes in six or twelve-bottle cases. Why not try them all, along with the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc ‘Renaissance’ in the Sabon Super Sampler? The reds also come in magnum format – three magnums to the case or, as a special treat, one of each of the first three in the Sabon Magnum Sampler. To really complicate things, we’ve been able to get the ‘Les Olivets’ in half-bottles, 12 to the case.
We also have the 2015 Rhône By Roger Sabon and 2015 Lirac By Roger Sabon for your drinking pleasure. 2015 in the southern Rhône was a simply fantastic vintage.
While the winery has been generous to us, quantities are strictly limited. So please order early to avoid disappointment. These wines are being offered at very favourable prices – consider that a 2013 Château de Beaucastel, rated 91-93 by Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jan./Feb. currently sells at the LCBO for $89.95 the bottle! The last day to order these fine wines will be Friday, September 30th.
The following tasting notes and ratings are by James Molesworth of the ‘Wine Spectator’ October 15, 2016 issue – note the prices he suggests for these wines compared to ours … and his are in $US!!). Mr. Molesworth is highly respected by the Southern Rhône vignerons. I have tried all of these wines and attest that his assessments and tasting notes fairly represent these Sabon wines.
The 2015 Lirac By Roger Sabon is made from 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Carignan. Aged in stainless steel, this lovely, dark ruby wine exhibits zesty aromas of sweet raspberries, blackberries and garrigue with a hint of pepper and tobacco. The red and black fruit persist in the mouth. It is elegantly complex, very long with a beautiful smooth tannic structure. It will go wonderfully with roasts and wild game. This needs a bit of time in the decanter before consuming. It will keep happily and evolve nicely over the next seven years or so. This is a wonderful wine and a fine example of the best of the southern Rhône. Order your 6 bottles or 12 bottles of splendid Lirac now.
“Plump in feel, with enticing star fruit, white peach, shortbread and verbena notes melding together. A light salted butter edge on the finish adds length and cut. This opens wonderfully in the glass. Drink now through 2018. 92/100 ($49US) – James Molesworth, the ‘Wine Spectator’
If you like white Châteauneuf du Pape, you’ll love the 2015 ‘Renaissance from Domaine Roger Sabon. It simply doesn’t get much better than this one.
Order your 6 bottles or 12 bottles of outstanding Ch9 Blanc now.
“A violet hint gives way quickly to a core of lightly steeped plum and raspberry fruit, all inlaid with a single mesquite note. Echos of smoldering tobacco leaf and juniper check in on the finish. Shows good range. Best from 2017 through 2024. 92/100 ($45US)” – James Molesworth, the ‘Wine Spectator’
And, it is less than half the LCBO price of a bottle of 2013 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape! Order your six 750ml Bottles, twelve 750ml Bottles, Magnums; or Half-Bottles of this really good Châteauneuf now.
“A gorgeous beam of dark blackberry and raspberry coulis flavors streams through, inlaid with dried anise, black tea and graphite notes. The long finish is velvety and defined. Hard to put aside, but this will blossom even more with cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2029. 93/100 ($55US)” – James Molesworth, the ‘Wine Spectator’
I would give this marvellous Châteauneuf a couple of years before broaching and expect it to evolve wonderfully for the next ten years or so. Order your six 750ml Bottles, twelve 750ml Bottles, or your Magnums now.
“Ripe, silky and refined with a fine-grained structure that lets the perfumed notes of raspberry, cherry and plum preserves glide along. Light alder and black tea details impart nuance to the finish. Suave and sneakily long. Drink now through 2029. 93/100 ($80US) – James Molesworth, the ‘Wine Spectator’
Medium to full-bodied, pure and lively with clean, classical aromas and flavours, it will drink beautifully over the next twelve to fifteen years. Order your six 750ml Bottles, twelve 750ml Bottles, or your Magnums now.
“Gorgeous with dense yet silky and refined layers of raspberry, cherry and plum coulis stretching out over notes of shiso leaf, dried anise and lightly singed alder. Still tight through the finish, revealing a buried iron edge. Let this unfurl fully in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2029.” 95/100 ($225US) — James Molesworth, the ‘Wine Spectator’
Order your Order your six 750ml Bottles, twelve 750ml Bottles, or your Magnums of a Châteauneuf du Pape treasure now.
The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.
If you know any fanciers of superb Châteauneuf du Pape, we would really appreciate it if you would pass this note on to them.
Many thanks and cheers!
Jim, Hélène and Kate