I liked the 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape le Secret du Sabon slightly more here than in the recent 2004 retrospective. The most elegant and seamless in the lineup, it has classic small berry fruit, flowers, licorice and herbes de Provence-like aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, textured, layered feel. It shows rocking Grenache character and is drinking beautifully. A brilliantly run estate, Domaine Roger Sabon covers close to 44 acres that are spread throughout the appellation, and the wines have been made by Didier Negron since 2001. This retrospective focused on their top cuvee, the Secret du Sabon, which is a field blend of roughly (the exact blend is a "secret") 90% Grenache with the balance other permitted varieties (from 100-year-old vines), that-s aged all in 600-liter barrels. While the first released vintage was 1998, they also bottled a small amount in 1990, 1995 (the only one I've tasted? superb) and 1996. (JD)
Tightly focused, with fine-grained structure carrying spice, black tea, fig paste and raspberry ganache flavors through the long, refined, silky finish. Should blossom. Best from 2008 through 2030. (JM)
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