2011 Xavier Vins Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme
“The top wine of the estate, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme is a hidden gem in the vintage! A blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Counoise and Vaccarese, from 90-year-old vines and aged in one-third new barrels (although you wouldn’t know it), it possesses fabulous notes of blackberry and currant fruit, big minerality, roasted meats and leather. Full-bodied, with beautiful freshness, big tannin and a layered, thrillingly concentrated mid-palate, it will be better in another year or two, and have over 15 years of longevity. Drink 2015-2026.
“Consulting at a number of top estates (Marcoux, Grand Veneur, Raymond Usseglio, etc.), Xavier Vignon (along with Philippe Cambie) is one of the leading oenologists in the Southern Rhone – and you only need to taste his own negociant wines to understand why. I was blown away by these current and new releases. Across the board they showed beautifully made profiles, with not only loads of fruit and texture, but superb balance and classic Southern Rhone characters. In fact, each of the wines showed what I think of as textbook characteristics of the terroirs from which they come. In addition, the prices remain remarkably low, and these wines are a treasure trove for the savvy buyer.”