2009 Roger Sabon "Secret de Sabon" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $190)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I was surprised by the softness and silkiness of the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon. Largely a field blend estimated to be about 90% Grenache and 10% unidentifiable varieties, it is the most accessible Secret des Sabon made to date. Its opaque purple color is followed by hints of coffee beans, new saddle leather and vanillin (the wine was aged in 1-2 year old 600-liter demi-muids), broad, powerful, concentrated flavors and tannins in the finish. Although it is not currently strutting its stuff as impressively as the Prestige, it should come close to equaling that wine in another 3-4 years, although it is drinkable already. This beauty of full-bodied power and great Provencal complexity should last for two decades.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Glass-staining ruby. A highly perfumed, seductive bouquet displays dark berry preserves, gingerbread, licorice and apricot, heightened by an assertive floral quality. Broad, palate-staining black raspberry and cassis flavors are lifted by a tangy mineral note and complicated by floral and Asian spice qualities. Benefits from aeration and offers an intriguing interplay of richness and vivacity. The long, sweet finish echoes the floral and spice notes and shows no rough edges. This is 100% grenache, from vines planted in the late 1800s and from a yield that was reportedly under 10 hl/ha.
Dark, with very alluring espresso and smoke notes weaving through the dense flavors of fig paste, currant preserves, Black Forest cake and melted licorice. Features intense graphite and black tea notes on the finish, which is packed for now, but has good underlying racy acidity. Best from 2012 through 2024. 275 cases made.