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 2018 vintage release 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.
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91 Pts, James Suckling
A bright nose with violets and blueberries, leading to a palate with very fresh and juicy dark-cherry and cassis flavors and fine, succulent and even-paced tannins. Drink now.
90 Pts, Jeb Dunnuck
“Deep ruby/purple-colored, the 2018 Côtes Du Rhône offers a more seductive, elegant, seamless style as well as impressive blackberry fruits and pepper garrigue aromas and flavors. It’s elegant and medium-bodied, has a beautiful texture, and is going to drink nicely right out of the gate.
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