Last week’s call from Xavier Vignon came as a surprise. The enologist who first blew Parker away with the release of his spectacular 2007s (see Issue #191 of The Wine Advocate) has adopted a unique approach in making what has become one of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s greatest cult wines, “Anonyme.” Vignon, who has been consulting for the lion’s share of Parker’s 100-point estates in the appellation for over a decade, assembles his tête de cuvée Châteauneuf-du-Pape entirely from wines made from fruit drawn from 100+ year-old parcels. But more importantly, Xavier focuses all of his attention on the great years, eschewing the “off” vintages in the southern Rhône.
This strategy comes with considerable risk, particularly as it pertains to cash flow. For example, while Vignon loaded up on the great 2007s and 2010s — the latter Parker’s highest-rated vintage in the history of the southern Rhône — Xavier produced next to nothing in 2008, 2011, and 2013.
Seven months ago, just before the harvest of the critically acclaimed 2015s (the “equal” of 2010, according to Vignon), and with his cellar all but bare after opting out of 2011 and 2013, Xavier placed a gigantic bet.
“In 2007, I was just getting started, so I had to be careful. In 2010, I was aggressive, but not nearly as aggressive as I should have been. Now, in 2015, I borrowed every nickel the banks would lend me, and bought all I could,” Xavier told us on Tuesday. “We’re in great shape. Never better. With one exception. I need some — how do you say it? — BREATHING room.”
Suffice it to say that after the purchase order we placed yesterday — payment in full due in 30 days — Xavier Vignon is breathing freely.
The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Anonyme” — drawn from over 20 ancient-vine Grenache parcels, all over 85 years of age — remains one of the most extraordinary tête de cuvées of Wine Spectator’s 98-point vintage, the highest-rated harvest in that magazine’s history. Deep purple to the rim, with explosive aromas of crushed raspberry and dark plum, still perfectly primary and youthful four years after bottling. Intensely concentrated, suave and silken in texture, packed with red-fruit preserves, the 2010 “Anonyme” is absolutely breathtaking now, but will continue to age gracefully into the early 2030s.
$90 on release. Offered previously for $49.99. 1,200 bottles are up for grabs for $39 bottle on a rare morning when a Robert Parker 95+ point Châteauneuf-du-Pape is discounted. 57% off. Shipping included on 4.
Excellent and extremely drinkable
ONE OF THE GOOD ONES!!!!!!!!!! HAVE HAD BEFORE AND ALSO THE 07 ALWAYS GOOD........................
powerful. straight down the middle chateauneuf du pape. tightly wound and first but opens up with air. a big wine, might take the paint off a Cadillac. long finish.
Drank it January 2017. Just fantastic, Opened 10 hrs before dinner, but not decanted. Approachable, great fruit and body, big, complex, and layered but all in balance, Some lavender on the nose, almost cherry fruit, very seductive like the best burgundies. 95-96 (Had it head-to-head with the epic Beaucastel 2010 CDP and everyone at dinner put the Beaucastel just ahead of the Anonyme)
Having experience with prior vintages really helps with this wine - the complexity will come with more time - far more so than is being expressed in the glass right now.
What a wonderful wine! This is our third bottle of 2009, 2011, and now 2010. All vintages have been surperb!
Fair nose, very nice blend with good tannins. Went well with the prime rib. A few more years in the cellar should soften it.
Both my husband and I enjoyed our first bottle and liked it very much. I'm not a red fan but do rnjoy Chateau.... a lot.
Easy to drink.
Opened by second bottle 7/30/16. Loved this bottle. Aging well!
The tannins were greater than expected
I found this wine to be very young!
Still very tight. Hint of a developing off note, possibly TCA. Did improve with time open.
While perhaps it will blossom with age, on first tasting I was a little disappointed with its lack of depth and complexity. It was soft and delightful; but not as interesting as I had hoped.
very smooth, but not much body to it. I aerate all my wines--tasting with and without aeration yield the same result--bland. perhaps a few more years of aging will improve this one.
Not much complexity for the price.
Still at rest!
$49. 4 bottles.
One of my faves. Just enough minerality reflecting indigenous terroir. My staple CNDP. A value.
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