Xavier Vins Cuvee Anonyme 2012, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape
Deep purple colour with purple hues, this top wine is richly carved and is fresh with black fruits mixed with notes of spices and undergrowth. It is dense and perfumy; supple and bodied(ABV 15%); not much nuance to start and without undue concentration; chalky and rippling finish.
Yes, it is a Rhone CDP lacking the Bordeaux and Burgundian tannic structure, offers a different fruit profile and a road less travelled, the bottle I tasted somehow finishes fast because it is delicious and beautiful, and so we just never have thought about decanting, which undoubtedly will bring even better complexity and structure. Decanted for about 1 hour, give or take, will be perfect. Have said that, I believe this is the wine best to consume now in the Autumn. Best with Cha Siu.
THis 2012 vintage uses hand-picked grapes, traditional vinification, ageing in quarts of 25% in half-casks, 25% in casks, 25% in conical wooden vats, 25 in concrete tanks. The blend is from centurion Grenache, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Picpoul, Clairette sourced from more than different parcels scattered among the appellation. How can Xavier do this so well and the fruit is so vibrant? Why this tastes is so focused? Intriguing. I got this as a present from my supplier who is leaving the company. I confessed I belittle this bottle even though I heard quite some about the breadth and depth of the work by Xavier Vignon Southern Rhone Valley including Raymond Usseglio, La Nerthe, Gardine, Mont Redon, Maucoil and others. I like the name Cuvee Anonyme( literally no-name), which I came across in my first Sociology class.
RP awards 95 points, saying “The top wine from the portfolio, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme offers thrilling purity and focus in its lively dark fruits, roasted meats and underbrush-scented bouquet. Full-bodied, ripe and textured, with fantastic polish and sweetness to its tannin, it has a supple, forward feel, yet will easily evolve for 10-15 years.” He continues, “I continue to love the wines from vigneron Xavier Vignon. His wines always deliver on the fruit and texture front, yet never lack of typicity or Provençal charm.” Wine Advocate