2007 Roger Sabon "Secret de Sabon" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
97+ points. More closed and restrained than normal is the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon. The Sabon family has always been 'secretive' about the blend used for this cuvee, but they do acknowledge that about 90% Grenache is combined with a field blend from vines over 100 years of age. Yields are microscopic, averaging 8-12 hectoliters per hectare, and the wine is aged one year in used 600-liter demi-muids. In the years it has been made (the first commercial vintage was 1998, although a small amount was made for the family in 1990, 1995, and 1996), this cuvee often borders on pure perfection (i.e., 1998 and 2001). The 2007 is too backward at this stage to go that far out on a limb, but it possesses a dense plum/purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinary perfume of cedarwood, tobacco leaf, creosote, licorice, black fruits, smoke, and a smell and taste of highly-charred meat with the essence of blood. This extraordinarily full-bodied, but forebodingly backward wine is more inaccessible than the 1998 or 2001 were at a similar stage of development, but it is an enormous, massively-endowed Chateauneuf du Pape that represents the concentrated blood of an old vineyard. The finish is virtually endless, lasting well past a minute. It will benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 25-35 years thereafter.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Exotic aromas of black raspberry, boysenberry, cassis, floral oils and incense, with notes of licorice and sassafras coming up with air. Fleshy, seductively sweet red and dark berry liqueur flavors stain the palate, with floral pastilles and succulent herbs providing added complexity. Very rich but also compellingly lithe and balanced, with superb finishing clarity and sexy floral and spice character. I'd bet on this wine being delicious throughout its life.
Silky, with a beautiful beam of kirsch running through pepper, incense, black tea and melted licorice notes. The long, supple finish has good latent grip, while maintaining its perfumy elegance.