Xavier Vignon really is one of the biggest stars of the Rhône Valley and we find another fine example of his work here. Coming from 100-year-old Grenache vines (there’s 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre in the blend) mostly in the northern part of the Southern Rhône, the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages Arcane le Soleil saw 15 months in one-third each of new barrels, concrete tanks, and stainless-steel tanks. This inky colored beauty offers a terrific perfume of blueberries, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed violets. Deep, full-bodied, incredibly pure, and elegant, with silky tannin, it’s a sensational Côtes du Rhône better than most Chateauneuf du Pape in the vintage. It will be better in another year or two and keep for 8-10 years.
James Suckling – 93 Points
Wine Advocate – 94 Points