Region: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône
Varieties: 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault
Terroir: Sandy clay, rocky clay-limestone; 35-110 meters above sea level
Farming: Sustainable and hand-harvested; 50 year old vines
Winemaking: Hand-harvested; Destemmed; Fermentation in tank; 30 day maceration with daily delestage ("rack and return"); Aged 18 months in 25-40 hectaliter foudre and 600L French oak demi-muids
"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!
The size of the domaine has grown slowly over the years with 18 hectares in Chateauneuf du Pape, 8 hectares in Lirac and 8 hectares in Côtes-duRhône. Most of their holdings in Châteauneuf-du-Pape are located in the northeastern part of the appellation, where the soils are sandier with a high concentration of limestone. They also own a few parcels in La Crau famous for its red clay under a deep layer of galets deposited from the alps eons ago. These two soil types combine to make wines that are equally rich and nuanced.
Since 2001 Didier Negron has made the wines at Domaine Roger Sabon, but recently he’s begun to move away from demi-muids and barriques in favor of aging his family’s wines in concrete and large French oak foudres. While the terroir of Roger Sabon, with its high concentration of sand and limestone, has always been inclined to a more ethereal and delicate style of Châteauneuf, Didier’s changes in the cellar have amplified these qualities – the wines have never been more engaging and lovely.
Each of the red Châteauneuf-du-Papes from Domaine Roger Sabon comes from a different collection of terroirs. In the case of Les Olivets, it is primarily from sandy limestone and rocky limestone soils in the northwestern part of the appellation – the lieux dits of Pradel and Les Devès d’Estouard. Always one of the best bargains in Châteauneuf-duPape, Les Olivets is open-knot and vibrant being a Grenache-based blend with 10% each Cinsault & Syrah." -European Cellars