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Guigal St. Joseph Lieu-Dit Blanc 2012

Rhone White Blends from St.-Joseph, Rhone, France
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • JS93
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

Saint Joseph Blanc is a serious and excellent wine, with weight and complexity but not so imposing as Hermitage Blanc. It is arguably better than the red at the same price. The "Lieu Dit Saint Joseph," from one of the very finest vineyards in the appellation, is deeper and richer, with the added complexity gained by 6 months aging in 2nd year barrels. It drinks well young, but should age and improve for several years beyond the vintage.

Blend: 93% Marsanne, 7% Roussanne

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better and one thrilling white, the 2012 Saint Joseph Lieu-Dit Blanc, which comes from the vineyard that gave the appellation its name, is a smoking blend of 93% Marsanne and 7% Roussanne that’s brought up all in new oak barrels. Rich, textured and full-bodied, it oozes notions of caramelized peaches, toast, cream and brioche. It’s knockout stuff and should drink nicely for over a decade (although I’d drink it over the coming couple of years).
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Guigal

Guigal

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Guigal, , France - Rhone
Guigal
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.

A large, geographically and climatically diverse island off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. It is also home to red and white table wines that have been steadily increasing in quality and popularity over the past few decades, allowing Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region to shed its former image as merely a supplier of bulk wine. Certainly, plenty of bulk wine is still made here, but those who look beyond that will find plenty of high-quality wines for every-day drinking as well as bottles from boutique producers who espouse thoughtful vineyard practices (the organic wine movement thrives here). Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, there is some variation on the sun-drenched island, particularly at high elevation on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Although Sicily’s comeback began with clever labels and easily recognizable international varieties, its charm lies in its indigenous grapes. Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, responsible for full-bodied, berry fruited wines throughout the island. In Cerasuolo di Vittoria, it is blended with the lighter, more floral Frappato to create an elegantly balanced wine. On the volcanic soils of Mount Etna, many noteworthy wines are being produced in every color—whites from Cataratto and Carricante, and rosés from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. All of these wines share a racy streak of minerality and at their best can bear more than a slight resemblance to their respective Burgundies. Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are used to produce generally simple, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.

Nero d'Avola

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Opulent and fruit-driven with robust tannins, Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most widely planted red grape variety. Popular throughout Sicily both on its own and in blends, it features alongside Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Nocera in full-bodied Faro, and with Frappato in Cerasuolo di Vittoria to produce a light, lively wine.

In the Glass

Nero d’Avola is a bold, powerful wine with relatively high alcohol, moderate acidity, and an affinity for oak. Its flavors and aromas are of dark fruit (like plum, blackberry, and black cherry), peppery spice and sweet cocoa, occasionally accompanied by an earthy or herbal character. Dried fruit flavors are also common due to the hot weather this variety requires to thrive.

Perfect Pairings

Nero d’Avola’s dark, spicy flavors lend it well to richly flavored grilled meat dishes, but can also be a great compliment to simple pizza or pasta.

Sommelier Secret

If you love big, bold wines like Napa Cabernet and Châteauneuf-du-Pape but want to stick to a budget, look no further than Nero d’Avola for a worthy substitute. Even the best examples are often under $20.

YNG227723_2012 Item# 131742

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