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The latest Arcane releases

Xavier Vignon’s one-off Rhône bottlings

Xavier Vignon’s Arcane series of releases consists of one-off bottlings from some of the Rhône’s finest sites, often made using the most pioneering methods in winemaking.  

The 2021 releases showcase the maverick winemaker’s extraordinary talents. La Papesse – a 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape – has been aged in what Vignon calls his “vinarium”, the barrels suspended in larger tanks of wine. La Tempérance meanwhile is a multi-vintage blend from Cairanne fermented and aged in glass to provide a pure expression of site.  

Both are remarkable expressions of some of the Rhône’s finest terroirs.

0 Arcane Temperance Xavier Rhone  France Still wine

N.V. Arcane Temperance

Xavier

92Average Score
flagRhone / France
Red
drink-now2020-2031

Arcane Le Tempérance marks the beginning of a new period for Xavier Vignon. Following many experiments, making and ageing wine in giant glass globes has become Vignon’s preferred method. He believes that glass is the only medium that doesn’t change the flavour or texture of the wine, allowing for pure site expression. Xavier chose the Cairanne appellation to showcase this process, as he believes the appellation produces the most pristine Grenache fruit. Le Tempérance – a multi-vintage blend of 2015, ’16, ’17 and ’18 – is his first release using the method, with 25% of the cuvée vinified and matured completely in glass. The wine has a lovely balance to it. The fruit is exceptionally pure – bright strawberry, raspberry and kirsch notes – with a gentle peppery spice too and good verve. The acidity provides nice tension to the wine, making it feel light on its feet and elegant. The detailed, silky tannins combined with the clarity of fruit show great pedigree, while the textural finesse adds to a long finish. The purity here is impressive.

FINE+RARE  (June 2021)    Drink 2021-2031

12x75cl-0 Immediate | 376 Marketplace£175.00

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2016 Arcane Papesse Xavier Rhone  France Still wine

2016 Arcane Papesse

Xavier

94Average Score
flagRhone / France
Red
drink-now2020-2031

This 100% Grenache comes from the cooler sites in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Aged partly in amphorae, oak barrels and concrete tank, it spent the last few years of its maturation in specially designed barrels suspended in larger tanks of wine. This pioneering “vinarium” technique, Xavier Vignon believes, is the best way to extend the wine’s élevage without fear of oxidation. Completely immersed in liquid, there is no evaporation, no racking, no sulphur required. The wine is totally protected. The result is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape of fantastic purity and elegance. The wine has a super aromatic profile, with lovely bright floral lift of lavender, rose, aniseed and sweeter red candy notes. There is some subtle, dry spice too, from some high-quality oak. The delineation and clarity of fruit is exceptional – redcurrant, blackberry, red cherry and red plum are all pristine and in abundance here. The fruit is balanced by a mouthwatering vibrancy and textbook mineral salinity on the palate. The texture is particularly elegant for the region, the wine beautifully composed.

FINE+RARE  (June 2021)    Drink 2021-2031

6x75cl-0 Immediate | 80 Marketplace£250.00

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