If the name can trace its origins back to the 16th the century, the estate created by the wonderfully named Séraphin Sabon has its origins firmly anchored to the 20th century. The estate consists of some 20 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape with another 11 of Côtes-du-Rhône.
Typically, the Châteauneuf vines are scattered over the whole of the appellation and if this seems to lack administrative logic, having so many plots is seen as a real bonus as together they are able to create complexity. All of Châteauneuf's 14 grape varieties are planted but for the red, grenache naturally dominates with syrah, mourvèdre and cinsault in support but with trace elements of all the others helping as well to create complexity.
Winemaking is on traditional lines with little attempt made to extract more than is necessary from the grape. Mont Olivet wines are built on elegance rather than inky concentration. The cellars are in the centre of Châteauneuf. Here tradition remains key with large oak foudres seen as an essential part of the ageing process of Châteauneuf, giving the wines a deep patina and rounded tannins. The family name is Sabon, one of the many Sabons in the village and it is the third and fourth generation after the founder who are in charge today: Cline, David and Thierry.