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Guigal Chateau D'Ampuis Cote Rotie 1998

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  • WE91
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Chateau D'Ampuis displays deep dark color with mauve tints with aromas of spices, black fruits and delicate oak; a dense, expressive and intense nose. A tannic and racy wine. Flavors of prunes, blackberry and vanilla. Powerful, concentrated and structured palate. A wine from a tannic and muscular vintage due to the hot climate. Solid tannins, well rounded by long oak aging.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The extraordinary 1998 Cote Rotie Chateau d'Ampuis is more structured, powerful, and concentrated than the 1997. My ratings for the component parts ranged from a low of 90-92 for La Grande Plantee, to a high of 94-96 for La Pommiere and Pavillon Rouge. All revealed huge colors, earthy, smoky noses with bacon fat and black currants, and various degrees of tannin. This is unquestionably a vintage for patient connoisseurs as it requires cellaring. It is dense, chewy, and muscular. This wine will be at its finest between 2007-2020.
Range: 92-95
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This wine spends 38 months in new wood, and the question is whether the fruit can support it. Yes, but barely, since the spice, tannins and dryness all come from the wood, not the fruit. Maybe in 10 years' time there will be a chance for black fruits and the perfumed flavors to come through.
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Guigal

Guigal

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Guigal, France
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The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards that are over 2400 years old, you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine for over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment.

Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel's hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis Grippat estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage, as well as the Domaine de Vallouit in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.

In the cellars of the Guigal estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.

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The cultivation of vines here began with Greek settlers who arrived in 600 BC. Its proximity to Vienne was important then and also when that city became a Roman settlement but its situation, far from the negociants of Tain, led to its decline in more modern history. However the 1990s brought with it a revival fueled by one producer, Marcel Guigal, who believed in the zone’s potential. He, along with the critic, Robert Parker, are said to be responsible for the zone’s later 20th century renaissance.

Where the Rhone River turns, there is a build up of schist rock and a remarkable angle that produces slopes to maximize the rays of the sun. Cote Rotie remains one of the steepest in viticultural France. Its varied slopes have two designations. Some are dedicated as Côte Blonde and others as Côte Brune. Syrahs coming from Côte Blonde are lighter, more floral, and ready for earlier consumption—they can also include up to 20% of the highly scented Viognier. Those from Côte Brune are more sturdy, age-worthy and are typically nearly 100% Syrah. Either way, a Cote Rotie is going to have a particularly haunting and savory perfume, expressing a more feminine side of the northern Rhone.

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

Tasting Notes for Syrah

Syrah is a dry, red wine that typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Food Pairings for Syrah

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secrets for Syrah

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

ARP49888_1998 Item# 49888

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