Piaugier Sablet Rouge 2019

Drinks Like Gigondas, Less than $25: 2019 Domaine de Piaugier Sablet Rouge

I had been eagerly and patiently awaiting the release of the 2019 Domaine de Piaugier Sablet Rouge. The 2018 version of this wine was our best seller of 2020, and after tasting the 2019 last week, I suspect it will retain its title.

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again, this is one of top Southern Rhone values I’ve tasted in my 20+ year wine career. Vintage 2019 was considered superior to 2018, but we’re really splitting hairs here. This is another incredible value from the Southern Rhone.  

Domaine de Piaugier Sablet Rouge

2019 Domaine de Piaugier Sablet Rouge

Drinks like top-flight Gigondas at half the price!

ORDER NOW in our online store. We will apply deal pricing once we receive your order.

The village of Sablet, just north of Gigondas, is know for its sandy soils. In fact, “sable” translates to “sand” in French. And it’s these sandy soils that make Piaugier’s Sablet Rouge so uniquely delicious. Dirt isn’t the most exciting thing to talk about, but it plays a huge role in wine, from the vineyard to the bottle. It’s a known fact amongst “cork dorks” like myself that well-drained, sandy soils are notorious for producing vibrant, elegant, and highly aromatic Grenache-based wines.

In the words of Robert Parker, “This small estate, managed with intelligence and talent by Jean-Marc Autran, deserves praise for its Côtes du Rhônes.” Yes they do and thanks for noticing Bob! Jean-Marc and his wife Sophie farm their 12.5 hectares in Sablet without the use of chemical fertilizers or sprays. In addition, all of their grapes are hand harvested and sorted. They ferment in cement tanks with indigenous yeasts and they aged this one in used barriques for 18-24 months. They then bottle with minimal filtration and sulfur addition.

This traditional, meticulous and “slow” way of crafting their wines is counter to the many highly processed wines that line the shelves at grocery stores. And that’s why this tastes better! But surprisingly, it doesn’t cost that much more. Nope, this blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, all from 30-50+ year old vines, is soulful and full of character, much like your favorite wine monger.

Just 2,500 cases were produced in the hot, dry, and sunny 2019 vintage. I sampled this one last week — from the first glass to the last, this one really made me happy. Offering up a perfect mix of concentrated raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, violet, cracked black pepper, and smoky herb, this one smells as good as it tastes. Like the 2018, the palate is full-bodied yet fine-grained, with ripe tannin and zesty acidity. There is a ton to like here folks!

Delicious now, I suspect this will offer pleasurable drinking through at least 2025. Heck, it might even improve, but I don’t see how it could taste much better than it does right now. A perfect red for summer cookouts involving lamb, it’s also great with nothing more than a glass and a good friend or two.

ORDER NOW in our online store. We will apply deal pricing once we receive your order.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville