Xavier Vignon Arcane L'Etoile NV AOC Beaumes de Venise, France
95 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
“Coming from the higher elevation sites, the NV Beaumes de Venise Arcane Etoile is another elegant, finesse-oriented wine from Xavier that has both richness and freshness. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre as well as a small amount of Viognier from 2015, 2016, and 2017, it has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine that might just be one of the greatest red wines to come from Beaumes de Venise."
Xavier Vignon's Arcane l'Etoile is an exclusive non-vintage bottling, consisiting of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvèdre. A multi vintage blend from 2015, 2016 & 2017, that reveals the complexity and remarkable freshness of the high-altitude Beaumes de Venise terroirs.
Xavier Vignon moved to the Southern Rhône in the mid-1990’s and fell in love with the region’s stunning diversity of grape varieties, terroirs and wines. Since then, Xavier has earned a reputation as one of the greatest specialists in the region, having served as consultant to over 250 wine producers. Rich in experience, innovative by nature, and boasting an intimate knowledge of the region’s terroirs, he built his own brand upon a signature style: a meticulous blend of 20-plus grape varieties, purchased from several different producers, sourced from 100 parcels in appellations including the Côtes-du-Rhone, Ventoux, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
As a consultant to so many top producers, Xavier got to know the terroirs and grapes of the Southern Rhône on an intimate level. Through his research in viticulture, he developed a passion for studying the various elements affecting the final character of the wine. Xavier’s studies are strongly focused on the ways in which the mineral content of water affects the wine’s salinity, which has radically changed his approach to viticulture and winemaking.
Xavier’s wines are the result of meticulous blending of carefully selected wines. They usually contain no residual sugar, are aged in oak and marked by an intense character, along with a signature minerality. His range includes several wines from the Côtes-du-Rhône, and his flagship cuvée is ‘Châteauneuf-du-Pape Anonyme’, sourced from several different parcels owned by Vignon’s top clients, scattered around the appellation. The exact varietal composition of the blend changes from year-to-year but may include all 13 allowed by the appellation. He also produces a selection of multi-vintage, multi-appellation blends.
96 / 100 Cellarmaster Value Rating