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Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc 2009

Rhone White Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
  • WS97
  • RP95
0% ABV
  • JD98
  • RP94
  • WS97
  • RP97
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • RP100
  • WS98
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • RP97
  • WS97
  • WS96
  • RP96
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Winemaker Notes

The white comes from two parcels, les Murets and L'Hermite. A blend of Marsanne and Roussanne, the wine spends approximately 18 months in new oak casks and is bottled without fining or filtration. Ex Voto Blanc is produced only in exceptional vintages. These two wines represent the pinnacle of the appellation, with exceptional concentration and great potential longevity.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This has hyperdrive, with terrific, enveloping mango, papaya and creamed melon flavors supported by a spine of chamomile, quinine and white peach. The long finish sports brioche, paraffin and macadamia nut notes. Shows excellent range. Best from 2013 through 2023. 583 cases made.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Finally in bottle, the 2009 Hermitage Ex-Voto Blanc is an incredible example of white Hermitage. Made in a more spicy, oaky style than either Michel Chapoutier’s or Delas’ white Hermitage, the Ex-Voto exhibits tremendous richness and intensity with plenty of buttery citrus, a subtle touch of spicy oak, honeysuckle, spring flowers and orange marmalade. Deep, rich and full-bodied with a greenish hue to its color, this viscous effort will probably follow the typical pattern of white Hermitage, drinking great for 5-7 years, then going into a dumb, oxidative state for 5-10 years, re-emerging to last 50+ years.
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Guigal

Guigal

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Guigal, Hermitage, Rhone, 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, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.

Hermitage

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One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.

Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.

The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.

While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.

Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

YNG276420_2009 Item# 118430