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Xavier Vignon Gigondas Rouge is made from 85% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre.
A purple color with violet tints. On the nose, the beautiful ripeness offers everything an array of black fruits (cherries, blackberries) and toasted spices.
On the palate, fine and concentrated tannins are balanced by a nice salinity. Delicious peppery notes complete the long finish.
Pairs with grilled lamb - Roasted Quails with raisins -Venison with cranberries - Risotto with mushrooms.
One of the gems in the lineup from Xavier is the 2016 Gigondas which is made from 85% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre, from a number of terroirs, but mostly from higher elevation, limestone sites. Its deep purple color is followed by terrific notes of ripe blackberries, toasted spice, and dried herbs, with a hint of graphite. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, with brilliant purity and lots of tannins, it’s killer wine to enjoy over the coming decade or more." - Jeb Dunnuck (October 19th 2017), 93 pts
"This is a very impressive expression with such intense, energetic and vibrant ripe cherries and red berries. The palate has such prowess and precision. Drink or hold." - James Suckling (October 2019), 93 pts
For the last 15 years, oenologist Xavier Vignon has become internationally known for being the winemaker of several of the best domaines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and around (La Nerthe, La Vieille Julienne, Beaurenard, La Mordorée, etc.)
In 2002, some friends (who are wine importers) asked him if he can create his own wine. Choosing amongst the best wines he has made, he creates a blended Rhône with different vintages, and different appellations. His ideal wine, easy to understand, modern, powerful and a great value for money, 100% Xavier was born.
As this outstanding « non vintage table wine » meets a big success Xavier adds a complete range of prestigious Appellations, still selecting and buying the best wines of the greatest domaines he knows perfectly. In 2006, Importers from the UK, Australia, Canada, and Scandinavia order almost 100,000 bottles.
As Xavier Vignon wishes to keep his main work, which is to manage his laboratory, he associates with two partners in 2007, in order to be able to develop his "Xavier wines".
Xavier Vignon Arcane Etoile Beaumes de Venise Rouge is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre.
All the wines from the Arcane range are limited edition. They are the reflection of something extraordinary that happened in the vineyard. The Arcane Etoile is a multi vintage blend from 2015-2016-2017 that reveals the complexity and remarkable freshness of these high altitude Beaumes de Venise terroirs. Maceration with viognier skins.
The Beaumes de Venise terroir neighbours Gigondas and Vacqueyras. These Triassic soils (sand, limestone, clay) at the foothills of the Dentelles Sarrasines and the Grand Montmirail were specifically chosen for their high altitude (up to 600 metres above sea level) in order to impart freshness and elegance to the wine. The objective here was freshness and counterbalancing the impact of global warming.
It has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine.
Pairs with porcini mushrooms in red wine - Foie gras - Piglet and prune stew - Honey glazed duck breast - Grilled swordfish - Dauphinois potatoes - Creamy garlic lentil and kale bake - Brie with walnuts
"Coming from the higher elevation sites, the NV Beaumes de Venise Arcane Etoile is another elegant, finesse-oriented wine from Xavier that has both richness and freshness. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre as well as a small amount of Viognier from 2015, 2016, and 2017, it has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine that might just be one of the greatest red wines to come from Beaumes de Venise.” - Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 95 pts
The original thought was to be a one wine brand, with a single minded vision to produce the best value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon in America. How do you go about this? Traditional winemaking. Natural fermentations. Barrel-aging. Plus, bottling unfiltered and unfined. In essence, making the wines in small batch winemaking integrity, but doing so on a larger scale. The wine is black. The label definitively says, "This is Cabernet Sauvignon." With the CS, you know who made this wine: Charles Smith. There is also the single vineyard, single expression, Bordeaux varietals (ex: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) produced in very limited quantities. Let's not to forget, the single vineyard Loire-style Substance Sauvignon Blanc. This is the newest chapter in the history books of Charles Smith and his wines.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Powerline Vineyard (which is all from Clone 2) is a brilliant, brilliant wine that’s loaded with ripe red, black, and blue fruit as well as notions of green herbs, tobacco, chocolate, and even hints of spiced meat. Complex and medium to full-bodied, with good acidity and a balanced, seamless mouthfeel, it’s already hard to resist yet is going to cruise of 15+ years in cold cellars. -Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.
Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.
The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.
On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.
In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.
The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.
We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).
As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.
Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express
Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.
This appellation, located just south of Gigondas, always produced a Provençal, spicy wine and the 2018 Beaumes De Venise is no exception, showing a ruby/purple hue, notes of herbes de Provence, ground pepper, and garrigue, loads of raspberry and blackberry fruits, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s an undeniably delicious, balanced, gulpable beauty to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts
Fefinanes Albarino de 1583 Albarino is made from 100% Albarino.
Aged for 5 months in oak barrels (a combination of fine-grained American and French Allier barrels).
1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados.
They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.
Lovely straw yellow color, clean and bright. The nose is reminiscent of ripe crystallized fruit and spices. The palate is elegant, round and well balanced, with a silky texture.
Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry.
"The oaking of the 2019 1583 Albariño de Fefiñanes was quite subtle and seems to have brought forward the more balsamic notes of the variety, making it come through as a little more herbal, with almost a minty touch, reminiscent of bay leaf. The palate is not as vibrant and pure as the unoaked wine from this same year, which was exceptionally good. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (June 2020), 91 pts
Bressia Lagrima Canela is made from 70 % Chardonnay, 30 % Semillon
Barrel fermented for 14 months in new French and American oak
Lagrima Canela means 'cinnamon tears'. This white blend shows an intense greenish-yellow wine with luminous golden highlights. It has fresh, elegant floral aromas, lent to it by its grape varieties, as well as melon, pear and toasty oak. Medium bodied with a creamy texture and outstanding depth and concentration.
Light gold colored with a perfume of candle wax, pear, melon, and toasty oak, on the palate the wine is medium-bodied with well-integrated oak, dry flavors, a creamy texture, and outstanding depth and concentration.
"Always among the best white blends in Argentina, this cuvée of Chardonnay with 30% Semillon is lightly oaked with some malolactic fermentation for added texture. Stone fruit and herbal flavours flow across the tongue, with some baking spices and a soft, caressing finish. 2018-21."
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2018), 94 pts
Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Viognier
The wine has a beautiful golden color.
The aromas are rich and exotic with mango, almonds, toast, lemon, pineapple white flowers and papaye. These aromas will develop to honey, butter and pear after ageing for a few years.
The finish is long, citrusy and toasty.
Terroir: Slopes of sandy soil or grey limestone.
Yield: 25 -30 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 70 years old minimum. The oldest are around 90 years old.
The grapes are pressed pneumatically after a few hours contact with the skins.The must is kept at 20°c during the alcoholic fermentation to optimise the aromas and respect the wine’s suppleness.
Barrel fermented an aged in 228-liter French Oak barrel for 12 months with regular stirrings of the lees.
MaloLactic Fermentation also in barrel.
Enjoy this wine with rich dish, river fish or poultry cooking in creamy sauce. Delicious with a mushroom risotto.
"Limpid yellow. A wild, expansive bouquet displays an array of citrus pith and pit fruits, succulent and (once-) illicit herbs, dried flowers and honey, along with a smoky mineral flourish the emerges with air. Stains the palate with juicy pear nectar, candied fennel, chamomile and bitter quinine flavors that take a sweeter turn on the back half. The impressively long, chewy, focused finish echoes the floral note and leaves a refreshingly bitter pear skin note behind. Color me impressed. I'd love to see this wine, when it gets bottled, up against some high-end Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites. Raised in barriques. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2020), 92-93 pts
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.
A clear and very expressive nose with notes of black fruits, spices and licorice. The mouth reveals tanins that are already supple with a great balance.
The finish is long, on black fruits, licorice and a slight salinity.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from grilled rib of beef, roasted duck with figs, boar stew.
"Mostly Grenache, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Xavier comes from all the terroirs of the region. Its deep ruby color is followed by a complex, elegant red that has medium to full body, good acidity, and classic notes of garrigue, leather, underbrush, and ripe red and black fruits. It's a beautifully textured, elegant, and balanced effort to drink over the coming decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 28th 2018), 92 pts
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. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - Wine Advocate 92 points
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge is made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. From 100 year old vines.
It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that.
Pairs with beef with mustard sauce - Pork tenderloin with winter vegetables - Roasted duck - Malaysian pork chop and spice tea.
"The second year Vignon has produced this cuvée, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape XV is a plush but restrained blend that incorporates more Mourvèdre and less Syrah, with the Grenache and Mourvèdre co-fermented when possible. It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 239, October 31st 2018), 94 pts
"A blend of equal parts Mourvèdre (from the northern part of the appellation) and Grenache (from the southern part of the appellation), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée XV offers ripe black cherries, cured meats, lavender, and ground pepper. This beauty is fresh, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with good acidity and a great finish. It's going to be better with 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 28th 2018), 94 pts
Xavier Vignon Cotes du Rhone Rouge Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Organic is made from 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah and 5% Cinsault.
The diversity of terroirs used in this blend allows this wine to combine freshness and balance.
We used Clay and limestone plots located on the hillside where old Grenache naturally express roasted hints. We could obtain in this wine empyreumatical hints without the use of barrels. These plots particular soils and orientation allowed grapes to reach an optimal level of ripeness while conserving a good acidity level.
We also integrated grapes coming from plots located on red rocky clay soils also named “garrigues”. These big red stone are restituting heat coming from the sun at night and bring power and structure to the wine.
Also the blend features vines coming from sandy clays, which are light and rather fresh soils: this allowed the wine to maintain a freshness and vivacity.
Bouquet of cassis, blueberries, lavender, cured meats, and graphite. It's deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, and has a great finish. The Mourvèdre keeps this tight and fresh.
Pairs with grilled beef rib - Veal Columbo - Pork ribs slightly spiced
"A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault and Syrah, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Vieilles Vignes offers a gorgeous bouquet of cassis, blueberries, lavender, cured meats, and graphite. It's deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, and has a great finish. The Mourvèdre keeps this tight and fresh, and I suspect it will age beautifully."
- Jeb Dunnuck (February 15th 2018), 92+ pts
Xavier Vignon Cotes du Rhone Rouge Vieilles Vignes is made from 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah
Grenaches are almost hundred years old, Mourvèdres more than 60 years old and Syrahs are 45 years old in average.
There's a spicy, green peppercorn edge to the Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes. It's medium to full-bodied, with svelte, supple tannins and plenty of plummy fruit that exhibits more savory notes and spice on the long finish.
Pairs with grilled lamb ribs - braised beef - spicy pork chops.
"The older vine cuvee of the estate is the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes and it is primarily Grenache blended with 15% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah. In this case, the Mourvèdre vines are 60 years in age and the Grenache vines are 45 years in age. Aged 12 months in 80% concrete tanks and 20% in barrel, its vibrant purple color gives way to a concentrated, medium to full-bodied 2016 that’s much more reserved and tight compared to the other Côtes du Rhône releases, yet offers beautiful purity in its blueberry and blackberry fruit, as well as subtle notes of violets, charcoal, and pepper. With integrated acidity and fine, polished tannin, this is a serious Côtes du Rhône that’s going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and keep for a decade." - Jeb Dunnuck (February 15th 2018), 92+ pts
Xavier Vignon Lirac Rouge is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
Ripe fruit, ranging from raspberries and cherries to hints of stone fruit. Yet, it's not over the top or simply fruity. This full-bodied wine adds hints of leather, garrigue and licorice along the way, evolving from creamy to velvety on the palate and through the lasting finish.
Pairs with lamb Tagine with dry fruits - Duck breast fillet with green pepper sauce - BBQ Prime rib of beef.
One of Vignon's better efforts, the 2016 Lirac showcases ripe fruit, ranging from raspberries and cherries to hints of stone fruit. Yet, it's not over the top or simply fruity. This full-bodied wine adds hints of leather, garrigue and licorice along the way, evolving from creamy to velvety on the palate and through the lasting finish. -Wine Advocate 92 Points
Xavier Vignon Rasteau Rouge is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah.
Almost black color with a deep orange hue, on the nose, the wine develop dark fruits aromas (black cherry), licorice, chocolate and mineral notes. The mouthfeel reveals an outstanding concentration with already silky tannins and a long finish.
Pairs with duck with orange - Tajine of lamb with apricots - Poached and salted duck - strong cheeses
"The 2016 Rasteau (75% Grenache and the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre) is a big, ripe, opulent effort that’s packed with full-bodied notes of blackberries, crushed rock, new leather and lots of minerality. It has sweet tannin, and while already impossible to resist, it will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 19th 2017), 92 pts
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.
Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.