Robert Parker''s Wine Advocate 31/10/2011 The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is considered by many observers in Chateauneuf du Pape to be the wine of the vintage, and it can most certainly be counted among the finest. A blend of 80% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre tipping the scales at 15.5% natural alcohol (which is slightly less than the Chaupin), the wine has an inky black/purple color as well as incredible density and richness, with notes of soy, blackberry, and blueberry liqueur, incense, acacia flowers and licorice. The layered, full-bodied mouthfeel displays no heat, but the wine has massive concentration and a silky, smooth finish. Because of the low acidity in the 2009s, and sweet tannins, this has turned out to be a glorious example of Chateauneuf du Pape to drink over the next two decades. This impeccably run estate, in the capable hands of Christophe Sabon, his sister Isabelle, and their father, is one of the superstars of the southern Rhone Valley. Over the last 12-15 years, the quality of the wines has gone from strength to strength, with brilliant wines being produced in all price categories. They make sumptuous, complex, world-class red, white and rose Cotes du Rhones, and year-in and year-out, their Chateauneuf du Papes are among the top three or four wines of the vintage. Tasting two great vintages (2009 and 2010) from the Sabons was one of the most thrilling tastings I have had this year. My tasting began with some unbelievable Cotes du Rhones. Made from a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, and 5% Syrah, the dense purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes achieved 15.5% natural alcohol. A candidate for the wine of the vintage in this appellation, it offers abundant notes of blackberries, boysenberries, truffles and incense as well as a layered, multidimensional personality and an exceptionally long finish. This is a brilliant wine to drink over the next two decades. (95-97)
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