2015: When Everything Went Right in the Rhône
Acclaimed by Wine Advocate as “easily one of the best winemakers in the Southern Rhône,” Xavier Vignon has authored nearly a dozen 100-pointers in Robert Parker’s publication. Today’s offer is an exemplar of the stunning 2015 Rhône vintage, this voluminous release had Wine Advocate over the moon, awarding a whopping 94 points and saying “the sensational 2015 Vin de France Arcane XV Le Diable... Blueberries, blackberries, peppery herbs and spice all flow from this layered, full-bodied beauty that has awesome purity, integrated acidity and plenty of structure. ” and awarding a whopping 94 points. Elsewhere up to $32, today at $24.99 a bottle, we’re calling it one of the most alluring and brilliant reds of the past five years.
The 2015 Southern Rhône growing season is going down in the history books as one of the greatest, equal to if not exceeding superlative Rhône vintages such as 1978, ‘89, ‘05, and ‘10. Jancis Robinson has called it “extremely promising,” while Wine Spectator awarded it 97 points, the best Southern Rhône vintage since the already legendary 2010.
Under 2015’s warm conditions, few varieties thrived as beautifully as the late-harvesting Mourvèdre. Drawn off multiple plots (containing vines up to 100-years-old) in the northern sector of Southern Rhône, not far from Vinsobres, this single-variety red shows all the hallmarks of the vintage: huge concentration, voluptuous tannins, superbly balanced acidity.
Demonstrating the same rigor that won him international acclaim as a consultant at Grand Veneur and Roger Perrin, Vignon has outdone himself with this radiant 94-point effort — a new Rhône classic.
Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access
Cristaldi has worked in the wine industry for nearly a decade as a professional writer, critic, and educator. His published work has appeared in national print and online outlets including Food & Wine, Los Angeles Magazine, SOMM Journal, and many others.