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The 2009 Xavier Vignon Gigondas is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from Gigondas in France and the ABV is 14.5%.
The 2005 Chat Fortia Chateauneuf Du Pape Tradition is a blend of Grenache and Syrah from Chateauneuf-du-Pape in France and the ABV is 15%.
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2009 Xavier Gigondas
"A super-star of the appellation, Vignon's 2009 Gigondas is composed of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from vines that average 80 years in age. Half of the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks and half in small barrels (one-third new, one-third 1 year old and one-third 2 years old). This sensational wine's dense purple color is accompanied by abundant aromas of blueberries, camphor, white flowers and other black fruits. It exhibits terrific fruit intensity, a vivid minerality, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and superb purity and texture. Enjoy this stunning effort over the next 10-15 years." 92-94 Points - Robert Parker
"I visited the three owners of Xavier Vins, the young oenologist, Xavier Vignon, who is the brain trust behind so many of the wines, and his two partners. This relatively youthful, serious negociant company has been doing some extraordinary consulting work in Chateauneuf du Pape, working for such estates as Raymond Usseglio, La Gardine, Jerome Quiot, Beaurenard, La Nerthe, Mont Redon, Maucoil, Roger Perrin, Chateau Marcoux and Domaine Grand Veneur. They access gorgeous fruit from many different appellations and are doing a top-flight job of getting impressive quality into the bottle. Moreover, there are some top values in their portfolio as well." -Robert Parker
"Average age of the vines is 80 years old. The soils are clay-limestone with small red pebbles. The harvest is hand picked during 2 - 3 sortings, to make sure all of the grapes are perfectly ripe. The yields are low, kept at or lower than 35 hl/hectare. "
"We have a philosophy about winemaking: First, great care is taken concerning the date of the harvest, including daily analysis of the grapes to make sure they are neither over or under ripe. The destemming is standard practice. The tannins are extracted during a period of a week, then cold maceration. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine is aged half in stainless steel and half in barrel (of which 1/3 is new oak, 1/3 is 1 year old barrels, and 1/3 is 2 year old barrels)."
"For the last 15 years, oenologist Xavier Vignon has become internationaly known for being the winemaker of several of the best domaines in ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape and around. In 2002, some friends (who are wine importers) ask him if he can create his own wine. Choosing amongst the best wines he as made, he creates a blend RhÃ´ne with different vintages, and different appellations. His ideal wine, easy to understand, modern, powerfull and a great value for money. 100% Xavier was born." -Winemaker
2005 Chat Fortia Chateauneuf Du Pape Tradition
"A bright, minerally style, with floral and red cherry notes fronting for tobacco, garrigue and grilled thyme notes. The long, supple finish lets the minerality hang on. Really well-knit this vintage. Drink now through 2017. 3,330 cases made." 91 Points - Wine Spectator
"Bright red. Vibrant raspberry and cherry aromas are sharpened by zesty minerality. Fresh, fine-grained and juicy, with vivid strawberry and raspberry flavors, silky tannins and a long, seductive finish. There's something alluringly pinot-like about this." 90 Points - Josh Raynolds - International Wine Cellar
"After a manual harvesting and a compulsory sorting , ( 5% minimum but usually higher ) , the grapes are transported in small crates in order to ensure their arrival at the cellar in the best of conditions.
The harvest is destemmed and more or less crushed depending to the year; due to differences in maturity the grape-varieties are vinified separatly in 150hl concrete tanks equipped with a cooling system."
"Vatting lasts 20 to 25 days depending on the year. The wines are put in 20 to 40hl stock vats to go through a second fermentation (malo-lactic) and then racked. The various grape-varieties are assembled and put in stock vats for aging between 12 to 18 months depending on the year. The wines are then put in meshed metallic tanks where they are fined and filtered before bottling. They are stored for several months before putting them out for sale."
"At Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the yield is limited to 35hl/ha. It is quite often that we go under this requirement, be it for a better harvest or for personnal criteria for quality." -Winemaker
"The Domain Chateau Fortia , is one of the oldest of Chateauneuf du Pape. History has it that it used to be an outbuilding of the pontifical castle where the cardinals kept their stables.
The domaine took importance when Hercule de Fortia d'Urban took it over.The count of Ripert Monclar wrote in his essay entitled , The Life and Works Of The Marquis Of Fortia of Urban published in 1843 that it was a lovely little hermitage. The lands registry of 1763
offers proof with the mention of a small farm belonging to the marquis of Fortia maintained on a share-cropping system. " -Importer
This also received 85 Points from Robert Parker.