Arthur Sellers Bulletin Archive
Dear Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club Member:
Most of you know the Domaine Roger Sabon story (for those who don’t, it follows at the end of this screed) so I have decided to get straight to their truly superb wines from the terrific 2015 and 2016 Southern Rhône vintages. I have had the pleasure of trying all of these wines (an arduous task, but some poor wretch has to do it) and can vouch for each and every one of them. They are fabulous. Where available, I have used the tasting notes of Jeb Dunnuck from the ‘Wine Advocate’. Mr. Dunnuck and his opinions are highly respected by the Southern Rhône vignerons. I attest that his assessments and tasting notes fairly represent these Sabon wines.
The Domaine Roger Sabon Wines on Offer
We are delighted to offer you two Sabon red Châteauneuf du Pape from the 2015 vintage - ‘Les Olivets’ and ‘Réserve’ in 750 ml bottles (six to the case) as well as magnums of the Réserve (three to the case). And, from the 2016 vintage we have Rhône By Roger Sabon, Lirac By Roger Sabon and the white Châteauneuf du Pape ‘Renaissance’ (all in 750 ml bottles, six to the case) for your drinking pleasure. 2015 in the southern Rhône was a simply fantastic vintage. I think the 2016 might prove to be even better.
2016 Rhône By Roger Sabon – 14.5% Alc./Vol. $19.30/$115.80 for 6 LCBO Product No. 466234
2016 Lirac By Roger Sabon – 14.5% Alc./Vol. $28.80/$172.80 for 6 LCBO Item No. 466242
“Somehow Roger Sabon has captured joy in a bottle. His 2016 Lirac By Roger Sabon boasts subtle spice and vanilla shadings upfront, then elevates the mood with easy-to-drink ripe cherry fruit that’s concentrated yet never seems heavy on the palate. This medium to full-bodied wine is lush and fun to drink, ending with softly dusty tannins that lend a welcome savory edge to the long finish. It should drink well for close to a decade.” (91/100) Jeb Dunnuck, ‘The Wine Advocate’ October, 2017
2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc ‘Renaissance’ – 14.0% Alc./Vol. $53.60/$321.6 for 6 LCBO Product No. 466259
2015 Châteauneuf du Pape ‘Les Olivets’ – 14.5% Alc./Vol. $48.75/$292.50 for 6 LCBO Product No. 466267
“The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Olivets is made from 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault (vines averaging 45 to 65 years of age), aged in foudre, concrete tanks and tronconique tanks, its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a medium to full-bodied, textured red that has lots of red black fruits, roasted garrigue and hints of meatiness, sweet tannin and outstanding length. This is a great vintage for this cuvée that should drink well through 2025.” (90 – 92/100) Jeb Dunnuck, ‘The Wine Advocate’ October, 2017
Please note that the description of this wine on LCBO.com is incorrect at time of writing; however, the price is correct and you will be getting the 2015 Les Olivets.
I would give this marvellous Châteauneuf a couple of years before broaching and expect it to evolve wonderfully for the next fifteen years or so.
Domaine Roger Sabon
They own 15 parcels spread throughout the appellation, most of them concentrated in the western and eastern sectors north of the village.
This estate has been making exceptionally high-quality wines for years, but recent vintages seem to have risen to a new level of quality. Moreover, Sabon’s wines have not yet been discovered by the masses, so prices are surprisingly reasonable. Readers should be also be aware that Roger Sabon produces a very delicious Côtes du Rhône and Lirac from vineyards holding those appellations.”
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 some 90-years and older. They are mainly Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, but Muscardin, Terret, Vaccarèse and Counoise are also grown. 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.
If you know any fanciers of superb Châteauneuf du Pape from great vintages, we would really appreciate it if you would pass this note on to them.
Many thanks and cheers!
Jim, Hélène and Kate