From one Rhône’s famous producers that’s still family own comes this powerful but balanced wine that’s just coming in to its drinking window. It’s full of red fruits, blackberries, vanilla and spice.
Côte Brune and Côte Blonde, Côte-Rôtie, Northern Rhone, France.
Vegan/veggie, ageing potential.
Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. During his lifetime he made over 67 vintages, and at the beginning of his career he participated in the development of Vidal-Fleury. Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961. Marcel’s hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In total, the vineyards of the Guigal estate cover over 75 hectares, including illustrious plots in the Côte Rôtie; ‘La Landonne’, ‘La Mouline’ and ‘La Turque’, Condrieu ‘La Doriane’, Hermitage ‘Ex-Voto’ and many more, all of which have become flagships of their appellations. In addition to acquiring many exceptional vineyards over the years, the Guigal family bought and lovingly restored the Château d’Ampuis, situated on the Rhône River with the backdrop of the Côte Brune and Côte Blonde hills. In 2006, the Guigals expanded their cellars in Ampuis, so that wine from both the Northern and the Southern appellations of the Rhône Valley could be produced and aged in these cellars. The upper level holds vast stainless steel vats, whilst the underground level holds some 5,000 barrels and larger oak foudres. Ever determined to improve the quality of their wines, they established a cooperage in 2003 in the grounds of the Château d’Ampuis. It is here that all the barrels used in the maturation of the Guigal wines are assembled and toasted.
Today, Philippe Guigal is the third generation to continue the family’s tradition of producing some of the Rhône Valley’s greatest wines. United as a family, Bernadette, Marcel, Philippe and Eve all work together to develop their family-owned and family-run enterprise. All of the Guigal estate vineyards are situated in the Northern Rhône, and each one is managed by a vigneron team who are overseen by Marcel and Philippe Guigal. All of these vineyards are harvested by hand. The wines produced from the Southern Rhône are purchased under long-term contracts and the Guigals pay the highest price for their fruit. For their Côtes du Rhône alone, they can pay up to three times as much as the standard price, to ensure they obtain the best quality fruit.
Grapes are grown on the steep slopes of Côte Blonde and Côte Brune. Soils in Côte Blonde are silicone and limestone whereas soils in Côte Brune are rich in iron oxyde. Average age of the vines is 35 years old.
96 % Syrah, 4% Viognier. Grapes are fermented in closed stainless steel tanks with automatic punching down and temperature controlled fermentaion. It spends an average of 3 weeks in tanks before being aged for 36 months in oak barrels – 50% of which are new oak.
Spices, red berries and delicate oak aromas are supported by round soft tannins. Aromas of rasberry, blackberry and vanilla, balanced between scarcely perceptible acidity and tannins which add fantastic ageing potential.
Small game, red meat and cheese. It’s coming in to its drinking window so makes a wonderful special occasion wine (whatever the occasion may be!).