In the Fall of 2008, Issue #179 of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate arrived in subscriber mailboxes. It contained an exhaustive report on the 2007 vintage, one that Parker described as the best since 1978.
If Beaucastel’s Homage de Jacques Perrin led the charge with a perfect 100pt score, it was Parker’s review of the first releases from brilliant enologist, Xavier Vignon, that took collectors by surprise.
In late 2008, I flew to Paris. While everyone zipped down to Orange by train, I’m the moron who won’t get on a train and had to rent a car. After a two hour catnap, I took a cold shower and met Xavier Vignon for dinner at Restaurant Beaugravieres.
Between Xavier’s spiel on the importance of ph in wine along with tasting some of the most famous CdPs from the 07 vintage, my head was spinning coming out of this multi hour lunch.
After tasting one of Xavier’s own Chateauneuf-du-Papes in the context of all those powerhouse wines of the appellation, I locked into 240 bottles over a year before it was released, then returned to Middletown wondering what the heck I was going to do with all that Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The rest is pretty much Nicholas Wines history and our friendship continues to this day. So when an Austrian importer called to finally arrange for the belated pick up of their coveted 2016 allocation – Xavier gave me the call.
92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a full-bodied blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, aged in a mix of concrete and wood vessels. Ripe stone fruit, raspberries and cherries cascade across the palate, framed by creamy-supple tannins and mouthwatering acids. While approachable now, there’s enough structure to warrant cellaring for up to a decade.
A perennial favorite, this wine constantly garners the accolades it deserves. It’s a terrific wine– one of the best to come from Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Great with red meat, poultry or even some carpaccio or tuna tartare.