0 immediate, 4 marketplace
Average critic rating : 92.0 points
The 2005, which seems to exhibit much more barnyard, earth, leather, and black fruit, appears to have lost the ferocity of its tannins through its long elevage, and it is still not yet in bottle. This is a deep, rich, concentrated wine that will probably spend as much time in foudre and tank as the famed Henri Bonneau's top cuvee of Chateauneuf du Pape. ||While the Guigal name is synonymous with extraordinary wines from Cote Rotie, Condrieu, Hermitage, St.-Joseph, and Crozes-Hermitage, the Guigal family have always had a love affair with the southern Rhone, especially Chateauneuf du Pape. I expect them to buy an estate in that appellation, but in the meantime they continue to pay top dollar for some of the best juice to fashion their negociant cuvees. The quality of these wines continues to go up, which is remarkable given Guigal's fame in addition to the gigantic production of his red Cotes du Rhone, which has now hit 3.5 million bottles with the 2007 - the best he has ever made. For starters, some whites and roses from Guigal merit serious attention. Everywhere in the southern Rhone, the rise in quality of white wines has been dramatic over the last decade or so, but Guigal, being a negociant, has really ratcheted up the level of his basic cuvees. In 2008, there was no Cotes du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, or Gigondas produced. Given the long wood and tank aging of their top southern wines from Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape, I have included notes on wines that are just being released, such as the 2007, as well as the most recent release, the 2006s. These wines prove the brilliance of Guigal's elevage. Most people know that his single vineyard Cote Roties and his Hermitage Ex-Voto are kept for 42 months in new oak, an astonishingly long time that is now being emulated by some of the great Rhone Ranger producers such as John Alban at Alban Vineyards, Justin Smith at Saxum and Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non. As I have told Marcel Guigal during nearly every one of my visits to his estate over the past 30+ years, he should give lectures in oenology schools on the genius behind the upbringing (elevage) of his wines. It is remarkable. Time and time again I have seen light vintages that seem vegetal and disappointing become concentrated and taste far better through extended elevage. And most significantly, Guigal's wines always taste better in bottle than they do tasting from barrel! Wine Advocate.October, 2010
Etienne Guigal, one of the most famous producers in the world, is regarded by Robert Parker as “the axis upon which the northern Rhône rests, a producer whose wines transcend all levels of the hierarchy. He is passionate about making single vineyard expressions using a non-interventionalist, distinctive approach. Best known for his ‘La Las’ (La Landonne, La Mouline and La Turque), these “other-wordly” wines are often spoken about in the same breath as the greatest Grand Crus of Bordeaux and Burgundy. However, due to Parker’s main focus being on the 'La Las' some other sensational wines from this magnificent producer slip under the radar. In particular, Guigal’s Lieu-Dit St Joseph offers terrific value. This tiny single vineyard, planted with old vines which range from 20 to 75 years of age, produces a very special wine.
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