2020 Domaine Roger Sabon 'Cuvee Prestige' Chateauneuf du Pape
"One of the top vintages for this cuvée, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige features intense aromas of black cherries and purple raspberries, without the dark chocolate nuances that appear in the other 2019s at this address. It's full-bodied, dense and concentrated, big but also silky and fine, with a long, elegant finish. It's a Grenache-led assemblage of lots from the lieux-dits of les Brusquières and Cabrières. Technical director Didier Negron is refreshingly candid when speaking about his vintages at Domaine Roger Sabon, and on this occasion, we traveled back in time as far as his first vintage with the estate, which was 2001, which he referred to as being very homogenous. At age 20, those wines are fully mature, and there's nothing further to be gained from additional cellaring. The 2011 Prestige, from a vintage Negron called early-drinking, should also be consumed in the near term, but the standout 2011 Secret should easily see out this decade. Turning to recent vintages, Negron is clearly a fan of the 2019s. "It's easy to make a great wine in 2019," he said. "But I hope people put [them] in the cellar and wait. Like 2016, it's necessary to wait a little bit." The 2020s, according to Negron, "have a little less concentration and alcohol, but the balance and the freshness is interesting." Wine Advocate
Black raspberries and flowers gently intertwine on the nose of the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige, a Grenache-dominated blend drawn from the lieux-dits of les Brusquières and Cabrières. Full-bodied and silky, it's dense and rich yet finishes fresh, adding seemingly contradictory hints of dark chocolate.
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Prestige is a solid step up and brings another level of purity and precision. Based on 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties, it has stunning aromatics of red and black fruits, roasted garrigue, spring flowers, and a hint of graphite. With full-bodied richness, moderate acidity, ripe, velvety tannins, and one heck of a great finish, it’s one of the gems in the vintage.
Dark and brooding, this reveals layers of black fruit edged in iron and smoke. Tightly coiled on the palate, with highlights of violet, tea, forest floor and cumin emerging with time. Slightly grippy tannins hold firm, and this will benefit from a few years in the cellar for the full range of flavors to open up. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Vaccarèse.
Plentiful brooding dark fruits, this is bold, rounded and powerful. Riper and deeper than many this year, with massy ripe tannins. The alcohol does seem a little high, but the acidity is balanced and it finishes long and intense. Grown on mixed soils, mostly galets roulés and sand, in the lieux-dits of Les Brusquières and Cabrières. Fermented half in stainless steel, half in concrete tanks, then aged in large barrels of different shapes and sizes