Xavier Vignon is an enologist in Châteauneuf-du-Pape that prior to 2010, I had heard a lot about but never had met. While consulting for many of the top names of the appellation (and a half dozen Robert Parker 100pt darlings), Xavier was finding a way to inject structure, cut and minerality into the tremendously opulent wines of the southern Rhône.
Over the course of that first two-hour lunch, I learned how and why Xavier’s wines, although massively concentrated, were always light on their feet. It was a fateful meeting because not only did I learn more about wine in those 2 hours than I had in the previous 15 years but I locked into some great deals on highly scored, flat out delicious CdPs that have become fan favorites of Nicholas Wines customers. We’re not yet done with those world-class Saturday nighters (stay tuned!) but the best thing about my friend Xavier, is that he’s the best at packing a wallop of value into his Tuesday nighters too!
Dollar for dollar, Xavier’s Côtes du Rhône is one of the best buys in the store and the new 2017 vintage, is a superb bottle of wine. It’s a got a killer nose, loaded with aromas of anise, black berries and white pepper. It’s deeply concentrated with a vibrant long finish, as good at any table as it is just by itself.
89-91, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Medium to full-bodied, with excellent ripeness and concentration, the 2017 Cotes du Rhone boasts assertive blueberry and blackberry fruit. Somewhere between velvety and silky, it’s a charming mouthful of Southern Rhône red