2018 E Guigal Cotes du Rhone
The Guigal Estate was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, a small ancient village and cradle of the Cote-Rotie appellation. It shelters a unique vineyard where the vines and the wines have been famous for 2,400 years. Arriving in the region in 1924 at the age of 14, Etienne began his career at Vidal-Fleury, participating in its development and working his way up to the position of cellar-master before leaving to establish his own company. He has vinified 67 harvests in Cote-Rotie.
Their hard work and perseverance enabled them to purchase the Vidal-Fleury Establishment in the mid ‘80s and in 1995, they acquired the famous Chateau d’Ampuis, an ancient fort built in the 12th century, later repurposed into a Renaissance chateau during the 16th century. In a state of neglect and terrible disrepair, Guigal has taken on a colossal renovation, spanning nearly 11 years with over 100 people working on the project.
The Chateau d’Ampuis has become the headquarters of the Guigal Estate while the offices and the cellars remain in the ancient small village of Ampuis. While their vineyards span the length and breadth of what the Rhone Valley offers, the heart of the winery’s production is still Cote-Rotie, whose ultimate expression can be found in Guigal’s most famous releases: La Landonne, La Turque, and La Mouline.
Matt Walls (Decanter), 91 points
"This has a remarkably serious nose; intense and sappy with a bright, juicy palate that’s open and ready to go. It’s well balanced and very fresh. Syrah heavy, but not ungenerous – successful for such a large volume blend, particularly in a vintage like this. Made with 50% Syrah, 45% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre, all aged in foudre. Philippe made a much smaller selection of wines in 2018 due to difficulties in sourcing adequate volumes of good quality wines. He mostly bought from sectors with more Syrah and Mourvèdre, since they tended to perform better. Drinking Window: 2019-2022. (Oct 2019)"
Jeb Dunnuck, 91 points
The 2018 Côtes du Rhône, which is a slightly more Syrah-dominated blend, offers more peppery, earthy notes as well as plenty of dark blue fruits, medium body, notable elegance, and solid balance. It’s a charming, attractive barrel sample that should drink nicely on release.
France, Rhone, Côtes du Rhône
50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre
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