2009 Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme
Expert Rating
RP 96 points
(Read the full review below)
 
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4.11 out of 5 stars!
Member Reviews:

Loved it
Just opened it the other day after waiting patiently for the right moment. Purple in color with berries on the nose and graphite, forest floor and sage on the palate. Nice long finish!
-- Liz from Crystal Lake, IL

Patience required
It takes about 3 hours to appreciate this cuvee fully. As aeration progresses, the Grenache's bouquet with some discordant notes gradually fades, and Syrah assumes the reins of power. Then the Gargantuan concentration presents its earthy undertones.
-- Alexander from Bronx, NY

Fantastic CDP
We enjoyed a bottle of this with grilled beef and lamb kabobs with Mediterranean seasonings. It was fabulous! Very expressive after about 1.5 hours and just a delight. I have eight left, and I hope to enjoy them over the next few years with various grilled fare. Great wine!
-- Ron from Rolla, MO


Outstanding wine for the price.
-- George from Arden, NC

The 96-Point Mis-Shipment

A month ago, another 40-foot refrigerated container hit the warehouse. The guys with the biceps forked out the goods and checked the receiving report against the cases on the warehouse floor. All was in order, except for a single shrink-wrapped pallet. The bill of lading called for 150 cases of Xavier Vignon's superb 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Two of the three pallets were properly shipped. But, as we'd soon learn, not the last one.

"What the hell is this 'Anonymous' stuff?" Biceps (aka the warehouse manager) asked.

"Can you spell it?" we asked the warehouse guys.

"A-N-O-N-Y-M-E."

"Are you sure?"

"Look! We may be dumb, but we're not BLIND!" he shouted.

Even if we'd been hesitant to commit to the $80/bottle 2009 Anonyme (the economy was still in the throes of the Great Recession), we knew all about one of the top 10 Châteauneufs of the vintage. Drawn from an ancient-vine mix of ultra-ripe Grenache, Syrah and high-toned, 100-year-old-vine Mourvèdre, Xavier's micro-cuvée stood tall on our scorecards against Beaucastel and Clos Saint-Jean. Robert Parker saw it just as we had, publishing a glowing 96-point review, describing "copious notes of licorice, garrigue, underbrush, blackberries, black currants and graphite are present in this full-bodied, modern-styled, fragrant, distinctive Châteauneuf."

Xavier Vignon's number was on speed dial, so we put the call in to Courthézon to give the super-enologist the bad news.

We had a couple of options. We could have been sleazeballs and acted as if we were unaware of the mis-shipment, but our mothers would have never forgiven us. We could have told the transport company that the bill of lading out of Courthézon didn't match our receiving report, and that they'd have to come back and pick up the pallet of Anonyme. We didn't like that option either. The inbound container, as always, was refrigerated, but you'd best believe the return trip wouldn't be. The wine would boil on the way back to Xavier.

We called the winery. The winery called the shipper. In the end, this is where they ended up. Had there been 150 cases, the answer would be different, they explained. But with the potential loss limited to 600 bottles, the shipper took the high ground. "Pay what you think is fair. We'll make up the difference."

Darkest purple in color, wildly aromatic, packed with ultra-concentrated crushed-red-fruit preserves, laced with violets and sweet herbes de Provence, Xavier's magical 2009 Anonyme remains locked in suspended animation three years after bottling. Parker suggested that this 96-pointer will be going strong well into the 2020s. After spending an evening with a bottle last week, that prediction now seems conservative.



Tasting Notes

2009 Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme
"There are approximately 10,000 bottles of the sensational 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme, which is fashioned from an unusual blend of 25% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah and the remaining 25% Counoise, Vaccarese and other authorized varietals. Its opaque purple color is followed by a wine of extraordinary intensity. Copious notes of licorice, garrigue, underbrush, blackberries, black currants and graphite are present in this full-bodied, modern-styled, fragrant, distinctive Chateauneuf. This terrific, voluptuous 2009 should drink well young and last for 15-20 years."
96 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate


*Important Shipping Information
    • This is a Pre-Arrival Offer: Weather permitting, wine will begin shipping in May, 2014.

By law, wine may ONLY be shipped to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.