Xavier Vignon is one of the big winemaking names of the southern Rhone. As a consultant winemaker at some of the grandest estates in Chateauneuf-du-Pape he forged a reputation as a Southern Rhone specialist.
He now makes a small selection of wines under his own name, and they are becoming some of the most sought-after wines of the southern Rhone. This particular wine, declassified to the Cotes de Rhone appellation, is an absolute stunner. It's sourced from parcels in Lirac, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Rasteau, and higher elevation sites in Beaumes de Venise, and is mostly Grenache. It's beautifully textured and balanced and offers a wealth of sweet fruit on the nose and palate. This should be considered alongside some of the great wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and will develop further for 15 years or so.