Parker's 92-94+ Point "Sleeper of the Vintage"
A wine for the cellar
This wine has all the right components in balance, but now it is relatively "hot". This wine will reward the patient collector after 3 to 10 years of cellar age. Highly recommended.
-- Maurice from San Fransisco, CA
beautiful wine great attack of black & red fruit on the front of the palate. full & soft mouth-feel, with a wonderful finish of dark chocolate & crisp freshness. great now & probably even better in a couple of years ... excellent QPR
-- Steve from New Hartford, NY
Nice youthful black fruit, little black peeper spice. Soft, good concentration. Will be interesting to watch as it ages.
-- Kendall from Benton City, WA
It used to be that importers traveled, tasted and put their money where their palates were. Not anymore. Ever since the global economy went into a funk, from Sweden to Rome, London to NYC, the importers just won't take a shot, fearful of getting stuck with inventory they can't move.
There's no other way to explain what happened last summer when we, and hundreds of other buyers, descended upon Chateauneuf and Gigondas, fueled by early reports on the astounding concentration and superb structure of the greatest 2010s. Everyone tasted, but few made a call. Fortunately, we were among the few.
Yields were down nearly 30% in 2010, trimmed in a single spring night by frost. That natural crop thinning would pay huge dividends at harvest, pushing concentration to the max, while -- unlike 2007 and 2009 -- still retaining riveting acid backbone. When Parker's vintage report hit the web on December 29th, RP didn't simply give a big thumbs up, he suggested that many 2010s would outpoint every vintage since 1978 -- awakening importers who had failed to commit.
In the case of the top-rated Chateauneuf and Gigondas of the vintage, they'd all be too late. We could barely wipe the smirks off our faces.
For those of you who have laid your hands on a few bottles of Xavier's 2007 or 2009 96-point Chateauneuf-du-Pape "Anonyme," you know all about the southern Rhone's greatest enologist's deft hand with century-old vine clusters. But if the secret to Xavier's brilliant '07s and '09s was old-vine, low-pH Mourvedre, in the highly structured, equally concentrated 2010 vintage, it was ancient-vine Grenache that stole the show.
The Wine Advocate heaped lavish reviews and big scores on the greatest estates of Chateauneuf. Beaucastel, Giraud, La Janasse and Vignon's "Anonyme" shined most brightly. But few 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape would outpoint what Parker called the "Sleeper of the Vintage," Xavier Vignon's 92-94+ point 2010 Gigondas.
The 2010 Xavier Vignon Gigondas was drawn from 100+-year-old Grenache that barely eked out two tons per acre of miraculously concentrated, juicy small-berry clusters. The aromas are of wild raspberry preserves, dark and piercing. Tremendously concentrated on the attack, packed with small, crushed red and black fruits, silken in texture, Parker suggested it will hit its peak sometime in 2020!