Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2015
Deep and dark red. Shiny. Fresh fruits with red berries and spices on the nose. Full and round the palate. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine. A full wine, with a long finish and plenty of elegance and finesse due to the well balanced tannins and fruit.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Given that the Guigals have close relationships with some 80 farmers up and down the Rhône Valley, perhaps it’s not surprising that they make a good Côtes du Rhône red. Still, this one goes far beyond what you’d expect from the general appellation. The scent alone is enticing, warm and inviting in its complex mix of fruit, spice and earth; the flavors weave spice, earth and violet tones through vivid berry flavors. Sandy tannins keep the wine firm and lasting. In fact, you might want to tuck a few bottles into your cellar. Best Buy
Leading off the reds, the 2015 Côtes du Rhône is mostly Syrah yet has a big dose of 40% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre. It’s another terrific vintage from this wine which rarely misses. Ripe black fruits, peppery herbs, and lavender notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, concentrated yet silky wine. Drink it any time over the coming decade.
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.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.
The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.