The master tinkerer Xavier Vignon was challenged a bit in the 2017 vintage by early bad weather, but a string of good luck weather wise when it mattered and a pivot in winemaking strategies proved pivotal and he ended up turning out some of the best wines in his already illustrious career.
2017 was Xavier’s highest ever rated CDR 100% from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. It was described as, “Rich, velvety and long”. All three adjectives accurately describe what Xavier Vignon believes might be his greatest vintage of winemaking yet. The new, fresh off the boat 100% Cotes du Rhone probably offers the best value in his impressive arsenal, with big, juicy flavors that just flood out of this one. Jammy raspberries and blueberries, wild earth and sage. This is the ideal wine to enjoy with most anything at the table or by itself so it can truly shine.
90-92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Rich, velvety and long, the 2017 Cotes du Rhone 100% looks like another winning example of this cuvée. It’s full-bodied, bursting with grape, boysenberry and blueberry fruit, yet it remains fresh and mouthwatering on the finish.”
I visited Xavier Vignon at his aging-bottling cellar in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just beside Château des Fines Roches. He does most of the vinifications at another facility in Beaumes de Venise. Vignon, who started out as a winemaking consultant, sources grapes from many clients and former clients throughout the Southern Rhône for his own various labels. Fascinated by blending and tinkering, tasting with him is something like meeting with a benevolent mad scientist—there are so many different experiments to try, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with what is what. Many of his wines are released quite late onto the market, as he prefers to age wines up to three winters before bottling and two winters after bottling. On the other hand, many of his 2016s are already in bottle. “2016 was just like a dream,” he said. “The best autumn I’ve ever seen.” In 2017, Vignon cut way back on extraction, basically relying on infusion once past the midpoint of fermentation, to avoid extracting any hard tannins.”
The ‘16s are big wines, loaded with complex fruit but remain fresh, with low ph, making them great at any dinner table this week and every week for the next decade
A roasted leg of lamb is a perfect match!