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Xavier Vignon "Arcane Le Fou" Vin de France SKU #1500714

Price: $24.99

JD 96
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Xavier Vignon was always a scientist at heart and began his studies in pharmacology in Reims in the Champagne region. A chance encounter with an oenologist ignited his passion for wine and set him on a new path where he quickly changed his focus to winemaking. Studying winemaking in Champagne and abroad gave him a different outlook in wine production and he brought that perspective back to Montpellier in southern France where he finished his oenology degree. With years of wine experience under his belt, his career as a consulting winemaker really started in 1996. Working with top estates and growers he has created a catalog of contacts that he calls on to get some of the best fruit (that he helps grow) and makes some of the most exciting wines in the region. Using that Champagne sensibility, he has created many different cuvees that defy the regional mold using multiple vintages and different terroirs to express something new and exciting. Le Fou is maybe one of his greatest achievements in his Arcane series. A blend of 5 vintages across 10 terroirs, primarily Châteanueuf, with Ventoux, Rasteau, and other Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages thrown in for good measure. It is a blend meant to express the diversity of Grenache's variations and clones but has small amounts of Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Caladoc for some added complexity. He calls it the "Champagne style taken to its limits!" This is a full and fleshy wine from one of the great winemakers in the Rhône.

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Staff Reviews

  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    Xavier Vignon continues to stun with each of his releases. Having worked with top growers as their consulting winemaker for almost two decades, Vignon has access to the best fruit. The Arcane series is unique in that it is informed by Xavier's beginnings in Champagne. Fractional blending, different sites, different clones, different vintages are just some of the tools he uses to make a sum-greater-than-it's-parts blend. Le Fou is primarily Grenache from a multitude of interesting clones all from his favorite terroirs. There is Ventoux, Rasteau and of course, Chateauneuf. This is a lusty bottle of wine with deep Chambord and kirsch flavors. It is opulent but like all of Xavier's wines, it has balance. Not heady, just sumptuous. With so many interesting wines from this producer this year, including the 2001 and 1972 Chateauneufs, is there room for something like this? How can their not be? This is something new and exciting to behold!


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