B-21 Top Recommendation
Regular readers of these pages are no stranger to the stunning wines being produced by Xavier Vignon. As one of the top two leading consultants in the Rhone (Cambie the other), Xavier has established a flawless reputation working with such luminaries as Marcoux, Grand Veneur, Raymond Usseglio and others. Through these relationships, he has gained access to incredibly pristine parcels of very old vine plantings across the valley where he works with centenarian vines of Grenache and Syrah as well as 75-85 year old plots of multiple other varieties. Xavier's Arcane Series wines are certainly from the finest parcels (those sources unnamed) and from top vintages. The greatest vintages of the last decade in the southern Rhone are unquestionably 2010, 2015, and 2016, each represented in this Arcane Series offering. Note the debut of the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Arcane VI "Les Amoureux," a blend of five top villages – Gigondas, Rasteau, Vacqueyras, Lirac and Beaumes de Venise – this blending forcing a legal declassification from "Cru" to Cotes du Rhone. Cru wines such as Gigondas, Rasteau and Vacqueyras become simply a "Cotes du Rhone." Not conventional? Hardly. Xavier's conviction? No doubt. The wine transcends terroir as a masterful blend. Very Arcane.