Xavier, Côtes du Rhône, 2010

When I stepped out the door this evening it was the first time this season that i smelled winter in the air. A cool, almost neutral air promising ice and cold, and a strong smell of woodsmoke, I guess someone in our street was putting logs on the fire. It felt very different, and it was suddenly as if winter was fighting autumn, jostling it out of the way, make place, make place, here i am !

It seemed the right moment to go for a red wine this evening. I bought it last week at Cora, a supermarket near Brussels, for 7,95 euro, a very good price for a wine like this.

Xavier Vignon is a very special man, since 1995 at the head of one of the most important winelabs of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and a well-known consultant in the area. He is still one of the master-blenders of Moët & Chandon and consults over 100 properties. He does not own his vineyard, but makes wines with grapes from parcels he particularly likes from his customers, and he likes experimenting. He allways tries to remain affordable and good, and I like him for it, and buy his bottles almost blind.

This Côtes du Rhône was slightly atypical as it consisted of 60% grenache, 25% mourvèdre and 15% syrah. At first i detected a whiff of filter, but it opened so quickly that i am not certain of this. First it developed cassis, but quickly chocolate and a bit of cold coffee followed. In the mouth it was soft, nice fruit, low acidity, but good, again with chocolate and berries. A nice wine to start the winter with.

There was a full moon outside, and the leaves start falling fast now. In the Black Forest it is allready snowing.


Autumn Rubbish