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Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Beautiful deep and dark red. Aromas of spices and ripe red berries. Round tannins with complexity and power. Rich, full and unctuous wine, with notes of ripe plums, stones and red fruits. A rich wine with harmony and balance.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits

“So sexy” were the first words I wrote after smelling this wine, marveling at the way a combination of taut herbal notes, earth and lush fruit could evoke such a response. Made from purchased juice that the Guigals blend and age in large oak foudres for three years, it’s a finely detailed red, the succulence of its raspberry flavors set off by a plethora of herbal, nutty and spicy notes. Cocoa-textured tannins provide a bass line and contour that keep the wine feeling firm and restrained, ready to enjoy now but also capable of aging in bottle for another decade.

RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Consumers who want a bit more oomph than the 2014 offers will want to seek out Guigal's 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, which is a ripe, full-bodied example of the appellation. Bottled just a week before I tasted it, it was somewhat closed on the nose but is wonderfully velvety and rich, with plenty of dark fruit flavors, accented by dried spices on the long finish.
JD 91
Jeb Dunnuck
In a completely different style, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is more Grenache-dominated and has a great nose of garrigue, pepper, and sweet red and black fruits. Nicely balanced, complex, and medium to full-bodied, is shows the straighter, classic style of the vintage and will drink nicely for another 10-15 years.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Distinctive, with singed mesquite and alder notes leading off, giving this a woodsy profile, balanced by an ample core of steeped raspberry and bitter plum fruit, along with tobacco, sandalwood and rooibos tea hints. The mesquite-alder edge lingers on the finish.
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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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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

PBC9128384_2015 Item# 498684