2010 Xavier Vignon Gigondas (Vieilles Vignes)
Expert Rating
RP 92-94+ points
(Read the full review below)
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Xavier Vignon and 4.14 out of 5 stars!
Member Reviews:

***** 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 Francisco, CA

Beautiful wine, great attack of black & red fruit on the front of the palate. Full and 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 mouthfeel, good concentration. Will be interesting to watch as it ages.
-- Kendal from Benton City, WA

Parker's 92-94+ Point "Sleeper of the Vintage"

No cojones. That's all we had to say. It used to be that importers traveled, tasted and made buying decisions on their own. Not anymore. Ever since the onset of the Great Recession, buyers from New York to Tokyo have a bad case of cold feet — refusing to go all in on anything other than a sure thing.

There was no other way to explain what was going on in the summer of 2011, when we and hundreds of other buyers descended upon Châteauneuf and Gigondas, fueled by early reports on the astounding concentration and superb structure of the 2010s. Cellars and tasting rooms were booked from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Each night at our favorite haunt, Restaurant L'Oustalet in Gigondas, the dining room was filled with multilingual conversation — importers unable to curb their vintage enthusiasm.

But as we learned months later, despite the extraordinary quality of these 2010s, most importers returned home without making commitments, holding off until Robert Parker and Wine Spectator published their vintage reports. Not us. We did as we've always done, trusting our palates — a decision that paid enormous dividends when Parker's report finally hit the web in December 2011.

One of the two or three most impressive tastings of the trip was with super-enologist Xavier Vignon outside of Courthézon. Vignon's star had risen shortly after Robert Parker first came calling and dropped matching 96-point reviews on Xavier's 2007 and 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme. But as we sat down at the tasting table, the enologist whose deft cellar hands have been all over a bevy of Parker 100-pointers was emphatic in calling 2010 "the greatest vintage in the southern Rhône since 1978!"

Xavier treated us to a four-hour dissertation on the growing season, how the small yields, extended hang-time, and decidedly cooler temperatures allowed 100-year-old-vine Grenache to reach extraordinary maturity while acids remained firm and vibrant. Vignon's baseline Côtes-du-Rhône was luscious. The 2010 Vacqueyras was lush yet beautifully delineated. The 2010 Anonyme was a red-fruit powerhouse, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape that won't hit full stride until the mid-2020s.

But from a bargain-hunter's perspective, the wine of the afternoon — and of that summer trip — was drawn from 100-year-old vines growing in the shadow of the Dentelles de Montmirail. We locked up every bottle of Xavier's 2010 Gigondas on the spot, and then waited four months for Parker to weigh in JUST AS WE HAD!

The 2010 Xavier Vignon Gigondas (Vieilles Vignes) is deep purple to the rim, infused with chiseled aromas of crushed red and black fruits, high-toned and piercing. Rich, voluptuous and sumptuous on the attack, packed with black raspberry preserves, violets and sweet spice, all braced by sturdy, ancient-vine backbone. Delicious now, but like all of the great 2010s, it's best to do as Parker suggests and lay Vignon's 2010 down for another 5-7 years.

Tasting Notes

2010 Xavier Vignon Gigondas (Vieilles Vignes)
"A sleeper of the vintage, the blockbuster 2010 Gigondas is a spectacular effort from this appellation. Fashioned from 100% Grenache (somewhat unusual), it exhibits a deep ruby/purple color in addition to copious amounts of concentrated red and black fruits intermixed with hints of wet rocks and spice. Consume it over the next decade."
92-94+ points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (December 2011)


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