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Xavier Vignon - WA 2018

wa"I visited Xavier Vignon at his aging-bottling cellar in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just beside Château des Fines Roches. He does most of the vinifications at another facility in Beaumes de Venise. Vignon, who started out as a winemaking consultant, sources grapes from many clients and former clients throughout the Southern Rhône for his own various labels. Fascinated by blending and tinkering, tasting with him is something like meeting with a benevolent mad scientist—there are so many different experiments to try, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with what is what. Many of his wines are released quite late onto the market, as he prefers to age wines up to three winters before bottling and two winters after bottling. On the other hand, many of his 2016s are already in bottle. "2016 was just like a dream," he said. "The best autumn I've ever seen." In 2017, Vignon cut way back on extraction, basically relying on infusion once past the midpoint of fermentation, to avoid extracting any hard tannins.- Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #239, October 2018)