Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc 2015
Brilliant clean straw yellow. Powerful and intense aromas of white flowers, acacia honey, hawthorn blossom. Rich and full-bodied, expressive of the terroir which lends this Hermitage body and strength. Balance between a delicate and expressive nose and fleshy fruit on the palate underpinned y the powerful terroir.
Produced only in exceptional vintages, the Ermitage Ex-Voto is the expression of a sincere desire to own vines in the Hermitage appellation and to produce an exceptional wine which reflects the soul of this prestigious appellation of the Rhône Valley.
Blend: 90% Marsanne and 10% Roussanne.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Guigals make Ex Voto only in years they consider exceptional, and focus the white wine on two parcels of the Hermitage hill: the rocky, alluvial Les Murets, and the sandy loess soils of L’Ermite. Mostly marsanne, vinified and aged for 30 months in new oak casks, it’s a lush, full-bodied white that wraps its mineral flavors in warming notes of caramel and spice. While the oak is very present, it’s also in proportion to the depth of fruit and firm structure, which bodes well for this wine’s development over the next 10 to 15 years.
Smoke, cedar and vanilla tones are pronounced now, but plenty of succulent white peach, apricot and tangerine pulses at the core of this generous white. Rippling and rich yet freshly balanced, it’s a sturdy bottling built for the long haul. Drink through 2026.
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.
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.
Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.