Xavier Vins Cuvee Anonyme 2016, 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 2016 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. 



Parker gives 95+ points, saying, "The striking 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme is 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and the rest minor varieties (there's no Syrah). Aged in a mix of foudres, demi-muids, barriques and concrete tanks, it shows hints of mocha and toast on the nose, but the blackberry and red plum fruit is mouthwatering and fresh, richly concentrated and spicy. Full-bodied, it manages to be ripe, silky and concentrated, while remaining crisp on the lengthy finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 95+ Points


It is commented well by Jeb Dunnuck, saying, "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme is the flagship and is mostly Grenache that was sourced from numerous terroirs throughout Châteauneuf-du-Pape and brought up in a mix of tank and barrels (some new). It offers a rocking bouquet of black raspberries, blueberries, lavender, Asian spices, and graphite. Like all of Xavier's 2016s, it has purity, freshness, and richness, yet still packs ample richness and depth. Give this full-bodied, elegant red another few years, and it will keep for a decade." Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, 95 Points