Youthful fruit, forceful spices, and rugged garrigue scrubland. Sablet makes a statement with the warm-hearted attitude of its wines.Christophe Tassan
Built on a sandy mound from which it derives its name (sable = sand), this village, like its close neighbour Séguret, invites you to take things easy, as you stroll from one little square to the next via winding lanes and curious stairways with unequal steps. Its gently sloping, drawn-out vineyards are planted in sandy soils, decalcified red clays and gravelly pebbles of various sizes. The Dentelles de Montmirail, at the foot of which the village lies, have been the silent witness to Sablet’s rise to fame over the centuries.
Viticulture was first developed here by the Counts of Toulouse, and this wine-growing vocation was confirmed in the 14th century by the Avignon popes, then lords of the region. So it continued until the end of the 19th century, when the vineyards were wiped out by phylloxera. But by a strange quirk of fate, it was an inhabitant of this village who invented the grafting machine that made recovery possible. Sablet was granted its Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation in 1974. The 130 hectares on which vines are currently grown produce mainly red wines, made from blends of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. They are full bodied, with appealing flavours of black-berry fruits, violets and candied fruits. The whites are more than distinguished: well-structured, rich in notes of spice and vanilla. The rosés are no less attractive; robust and chewy, they can be drunk young.
Grape blends for the appellation’s red wines must consist mainly of Grenache, supplemented by at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. Other permitted varieties must not exceed 20%.
The rosés must contain a minimum of 50% Grenache grapes, together with at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. White grape varieties (Grenache, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier) may not account for more than 20% of any blend.
Where whites are concerned, Grenache blanc, Clairette blanche, Marsanne blanche, Roussanne blanche, Bourboulenc blanc and Viognier blanc must make up at least 80% of the mix.
The minimum alcohol content for the reds is 12.5%, for the rosés and whites 12%.
The earliest traces of human settlement at Sablet date back to the Roman colonisation. Viticulture was later encouraged by the Counts of Toulouse. In the 14th century the Avignon popes, who then controlled the region, confirmed this wine-growing vocation. Sablet was granted its own Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation in 1974.
The village is famous for its annual book festival, in July, which attracts many writers, book-sellers, book-binders, illuminators/illustrators and wine-growers. This association of books and wine is an interesting initiative, an opportunity for people to relax and enjoy themselves, broaden their knowledge and taste the special vintages produced for the occasion by the Sablet wine-growers.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1974Birth of AOC Sablet
The vineyards lie within the commune of Sablet, abutting those of Gigondas, in the northern part of the Dentelles de Montmirail.
Mediterranean type influenced by the mistral.
Sandy soils; decalcified red clays mixed with gravelly pebbles of different sizes; red sandstones.
surface area340 hectares
Total production12 418 hl
- 92% Red
- 7% White
- 1% rosé
Average yield achieved37 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016