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The impact and influence of the Guigal family across the Rhône Valley, France, and all the world of fine wine is so immense, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that it’s all happened so quickly. In a country with such a rich and deep wine history, the Guigal family’s story is only in its third generation. Their wines are the benchmarks for every Rhone appellation, and over the last thirty years they have become arguably the most lauded producer in the world. Year after year the Guigal family produces wines of exceptional quality that offer exceptional value across their broad range of production.
The Côte-Rôtie « La Mouline » is one of the most emblematic of the Guigal domain’s wines. Small quantities are produced each year from a vineyard in the heart of the ‘côte blonde’. This is a voluptuous, silky and intensely aromatic wine.
The soil is terraced in the shape of a Roman amphitheatre. Gneis with lighly colred silicone soil with limestone lœss.
Blend: 89% Syrah, 11% Viognier
Tasting Notes: Red Wine. The wine spends 42 months in French oak. The nose is of small red fruits, blackberry and floral violet aromas.Intensely aromatic, powerful but full of finesse. In the mouth, the wine is supple with balance between the finesse of the aromas and an explosive richness due to the concentration of the wine. Greatly expressive of the terroir. The wine is a feminine wine with voluptuous silky texture and intense aromas.
The 2012 Côte Rôtie La Mouline reminds me of the 2011 with its upfront, incredibly perfumed nose of spring flowers, cured meats, roasted herbs, olives and sweet cassis fruit. Full-bodied, beautifully textured, mouth-filling and already impossible to resist, it expands on the palate and I guarantee this beauty will put a smile on your face anytime over the coming two decades.
As always, my visit with Marcel and Philippe Guigal is one of the highlights of my entire time spent working in the northern Rhône. As I think the list of wines demonstrate, this is a huge lineup, yet the theme across the entire range is incredible quality. Looking at the top Côte Rôties, the current releases in bottle are the 2012s and these are rich, supple, sexy, even flamboyant wines that will be relatively approachable in their youth, yet have broad drink windows. The 2013s are much more backward and restrained, and built for the long haul, but the long élevage favored at this estate is certainly helping to soften the tannin and give the wines a suppler texture. As to the 2014s, I was shocked at the depth and density this team was able to get in these wines, but this is another vintage that will be approachable in its youth. Lastly, and from vintage described by Marcel as the best of his lifetime (how’s that for perspective?), the 2015s are inky and primordial, with mind-boggling depth and density. These will be reviewed two to three more times before release, but start saving today! Lastly, it’s also worth pointing out that the estate has started utilizing a new cork technique that guarantees no TCA. This doesn’t come cheap and is close to two Euros per cork, but it’s just another example of the attention to detail and the level of effort that this estate puts forth to ensure the quality in the bottle. Hats off to them. ~97 Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
This has a brooding feel, with layers of warm tobacco leaf, roasted alder and juniper, and sweet tapenade leading the way, backed by a dense core of macerated plum, black currant and raspberry fruit. The long, smoldering finish shows terrific latent grip. Best from 2018 through 2030. 415 cases made, 60 cases imported. ~96 Wine Spectator
Super peppery, very, very concentrated and immaculately fragrant Côte-Rôtie here. There's plenty of oak in the mix, too. It shows entrancing brown-spice aromas across red plums and darker black fruits. The palate's layered, smooth and supple, pitching concentrated flavors against precise, dense and very powerful tannin. Finishes on a smooth edge as its softens slightly, leaving a trail of spiced-custard and dark-plum flavors. Exceptional wine. Drink 2020-2030. ~95 James Suckling
Lurid ruby. Heady, intensely perfumed aromas of red fruit preserves, incense, smoky minerals and lavender, accompanied by an Asian spice flourish that builds as the wine opens up. Stains the palate with sweet, seamless raspberry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that are lifted and given spine by core of juicy acidity. Puts on weight and spreads out slowly on the strikingly long and precise finish, which features resonating mineral and floral notes. ~94 Vinous Media
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