Next up in our wine tour we visited Chateauneuf du Pape’s (CDP’s) Domaine Roger Sabon for a tasting. Our host explained that this past summer they experienced drier weather producing smaller berries over 18 hectares. Sabon, like Pegau, has both a Domaine for the CDP wine area and a Cotes du Rhone label. Five percent of their appellations are producing white wines. They blend before aging, have four different soil types and also have a distillery. All of their wines are at least 70% Grenache and are aged in large barrels.
For the tasting they offered us new and older wines, including wines from the Lirac appellation – not in Chateauneuf du Pape – with amazing aromatics and flavors.
My favorites were a 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve that had just been bottled in March and contained 80% Grenache and the remaining 20% was made of Syrah and Mourvedre – the classic GSM blend. I noted delicate fruit aromas and subtle fruit flavors – red to blue fruits – as well as a pepperiness.
My second favorite was the Prestige label, a 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape that was all black fruit, cracked pepper and earth that had a nice sweet spot. That blend was also a GSM.
My ultimate favorite of the day was the final wine we tasted: the 2012 Prestige that had huge aromatics with earth, mint, dark fruit and an extra long finish. It was a real treat to be treated to an older vintage as it showed how well these wines did after a decade of aging.
Domaine de la Mordoree
The next day we went to Domaine de la Mordoree for an extensive vineyard tour – with the most amazing rocky and sandy soil that walking on it was difficult. The idea of the roots below, struggling for water that made them strong, left a huge impression on me. I had never seen this kind of large rocky terrain in a vineyard before. And the sandy sections were so pure and soft, it was quite a difference. The vines are between 40 and 60 years old.
Farming in the Domaine was certified organic in 2013 and is now also biodynamic. There are 30 workers brought in for nighttime harvests every year. The father and head of the household had died, and the mother and daughter “continue in a masculine world” according to our guide.
After the tour we had a tasting of their new white, rose and red wines. My first favorite was the 2019 La Dame Rousse – Lirac, also known as “The Red Lady” on their website, which was 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. Very dark berries, forest floor, tannin, dry and spicy, and with a price tag of only 14.50 Euros. My second favorite was their 2020 La Reine de bois Chateauneuf du Pape that was rich, velvety, smooth and balanced. Top notch indeed and 56 Euros.
Website: https://www.domaine-mordoree.com/?lang=enEve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits