Rhône Blend, Roger Sabon 'le Secret des Sabon'
Le Secret des Sabon began as an experimental cuvée which has evolved to be one of the top wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. With only about a single demi-muid produced each year, from presumably old vines with their correspondingly low yields, there isn’t much to go around. It is quite startling to taste Secret after the Cuvée Prestige, as one normally expects the “top” win of the estate to be the biggest, but this is a red herring. While there is an unmistakable glyceryl weight to Le Secret, it is more high-toned than you would initially expect. Red fruit predominates with stony and herbal accents that hint at a long life ahead. If we had to guess, we’d say that it is primarily Grenache and that it bears the hallmarks of a sandy terroir. Still, given the reticence of Didier and the generally more ethereal house style here, this is probably a good guess. Didier does admit that their oldest vines of Grenache are co-planted with other varieties in small quantities and that he prefers to co-ferment them. If we keep visiting each year, I’m sure we’ll get closer to the truth.