2007 Xavier Vins Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccaresecarese and Counoise. The Grenache comes from 90-year-old vines, the Mourvedre from 75-year-old vines, and the rest from vines of at least 25 years of age. The Grenache is aged in tank and the Syrah and Mourvedre are kept in small oak casks. The 2007, which tips the scales at 15% alcohol, exhibits an extraordinary bouquet of garrigue, smoked meats, black cherries, blackberries, licorice and Asian soy. With stunning power, opulence, body, richness and purity, this brilliant Chateauneuf du Pape will age effortlessly for 15+ years. I visited the three owners of Xavier Vins, the young oenologist, Xavier Vignon, who is the brain trust behind so many of the wines, and his two partners. This relatively youthful, serious negociant company has been doing some extraordinary consulting work in Chateauneuf du Pape, working for such estates as Raymond Usseglio, La Gardine, Jerome Quiot, Beaurenard, La Nerthe, Mont Redon, Maucoil, Roger Perrin, Chateau Marcoux and Domaine Grand Veneur. They access gorgeous fruit from many different appellations and are doing a top-flight job of getting impressive quality into the bottle. Moreover, there are some top values in their portfolio as well.