Roger Sabon is an excellent producer of Châteauneuf du Pape. The expression of fruit and terroir are the focus with oak used judiciously. Sabon makes velvety wines with great concentration, flesh and finesse utilising large, old oak casks for elevage. Absolutely delicious wines right through the range. This is one of my favourite producers in the whole wine world.
Mainly Grenache with Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Terret, Counoise, Vaccarèse, and Muscardin. Aged in 40 hl and large format oak for 18 months they want to build weight texture and layers of flavour without adding too much oak influence. Red and dark fruits, spices, very earthy, nice lift and plenty of charm. There is a lot to love about this wine, but it is build to age. I’d leave until at least 2018 if not 2023 onward. The humble minute steak works well with this complex and engaging wine.
Chateauneuf du Pape
The house of the New Pope. Where Grenache transcends its tendency towards mediocrity and because a noble variety. The reds can be a blend of up to 15 varieties with the main three being Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. Some estates use all 15, some use as little as one. With a range of terriors and blending options it is hard to pin down CNDP to one style, so find a producer you like and find out their conspirators. The ability to age here is the same as great Burgundy or Bordeaux. The whites can be as outstanding as the reds but definitely on the expensive side.
AKA Garnacha. Originally a Spanish variety it is known for being aromatic, low in acid with moderate tannin and high in alcohol. Quite often Grenache is blended with other varieties to add structure and tame its exuberance. The top wines of Priorat, Rioja, Chateauneuf du Pape or Barossa can age extremely well.