Some wines are like recurring loves; you may step away and try new things, but always inevitably end up again with the familiar love of a certain wine. Xavier Vignon’s Côtes du Rhône 2011 is one of my recurring loves. It is like a comfort of mine, a wine I never have to question or worry whether or not I will be pleased with on any day of the week.
Xavier beautifully blends 50% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and 25% Syrah coming from biodynamic ally farmed vineyards like Rasteau and Plan de Dieu, right in the heart of Côtes du Rhône. The outstanding quality in all of his wines is ever apparent in the consistency of great taste from one vintage and one bottle to the next.
I truly adore all of the wines he creates from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Gigondas to Vacqueras, but it is the any day and everyday Côtes du Rhône that I sit down with most often. Maybe for the incredibly affordable price or maybe for its versatility in food pairings, I have sat down with a glass of this with everything from pizza to filet mignon.
I cherish the moments when I am able to pour a glass for a new friend and see their raving reactions, swearing that it just simply must be a more expensive wine that what it is! True, this is a wine that can easily out-drink many other choices for the same price, but the clear goal of the wine is not competition, instead it is pure enjoyment.
The aromas are vibrant and inviting, with a smooth texture that brings a array of dark rich fruits and a noticeable and enjoyable cedar that leads to a spicy finish. It is balanced with a mineral saltiness and a well-rounded fleshy fruit which makes this all too wonderfully easy drinking.
Let this Côtes du Rhône find its way onto your wine racks, into your glass and shared around your table for a sure new favorite you can rely on anytime for any occasion!
Christina Bylor, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits consultant