Roger Sabon Cuvee Reservee is mainly Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre. 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, excellent lift and plenty of charm. There is a lot to love about this wine, but it will improve with age. I’d leave Roger Sabon Cuvee Reservee until at least 2022. The humble minute steak works well with this complex and engaging wine.
Roger Sabon Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016 Notes
“The same blend as the Les Olivets (80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve is similarly inky ruby/purple-colored and gives up a more dense, serious, backward style in its blackberry, melted licorice, roasted herb, and graphite aromas and flavors. With terrific minerality, full body, sweet tannin, and beautiful purity, it’s a seriously good 2016 that’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and drink nicely for 10-15″ Score: 95 Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, August 2018
Roger Sabon is an excellent producer of Châteauneuf du Pape. The Roger Sabon Cuvee system bases selection on vine age. Therefore the expression of fruit and terroir are the focus with oak used judiciously. Each Roger Sabon Cuvee is velvety with high concentration, flesh and finesse utilising large, old oak casks for elevage. Delicious wines right through the range. Roger Sabon is one of my favourite producers in the whole wine world.
The house of the New Pope. Where Grenache transcends its tendency towards mediocrity and becomes a noble variety. Chateauneuf reds can be a blend of up to 15 varieties with the main three being Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. Some estates use all 15, and some use as little as one. With a range of terroirs 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.
One of the great wine regions in the world. Situated along the Rhone river in South-East France there is a distinct divide between the Syrah dominant North where the Mistral wind cools and regulates the temperature and the hot lands in the South where Grenache is at its peak. The region produces everything from easy-going quaffers to wines that demand long-term cellaring. Whites can be outstanding such as Viognier made in Condrieu and Rosé makes a fair impression too
Spain’s gift to the world; We know it as Grenache. I think everyone has a soft spot for it in some way. Almost too exuberant in expressing its sweet red fruits and high alcohol. It often needs other grapes blending in to add moderation, structure and depth, much like Abbott and Costello. Despite this, the wines of Priorat, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rioja and Aussie GSMs have a fantastic ability to age for the long term.
Also known as Mourvedre in France and Mataro in the new world. It makes a muscular, tannic, meaty, savoury wine. It is often the backbone of a blend, but in places like Alicante, Jumilla and Yecla it is the major if not only variety in the red wine. Aging can vary depending on winemaker influence.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on the terroir and/or winemaker influence. The Syrah-based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is opulent and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.
The land that some many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.