In September-October last year, the Swedish importer of Guigal (they’re called Vinunic) arranged a series of three Masterclasses with Guigal wines. I did write a blog post about the white wine Masterclass, but for some unfathomable reason I never got around to writing about the other two: one with (almost) all red 2007s and a vertical tasting of La Turquem with some other wines thrown in for good measure.
The vertical tasting of Château d’Ampuis 1995-2009 that I arranged recently served as a reminder that it was high time for me to dig out the tasting notes from these two Masterclasses, since two wines from the 2007 tasting also featured in the Ampuis vertical. I’ve also participated in some other tastings with highly interesting Rhône wines during 2012-2013 that should have (but so far haven’t) resulted in blog posts. So you can probably expect more tastings in the category in the near future.
This 2007 Masterclass consisted of 12 out of the 14 red wines in the Guigal range, including the four absolute top wines: the three Côte-Rôties La Mouline, La Turque and La Landonne, and Hermitage Ex-Voto. The stylistic comparison between these four was really very interesting and what really made this a very memorable tasting. The two wines not included were the regular Saint-Joseph Rouge and the Saint-Joseph Lieu-Dit Rouge, by the way, but the top wine from the appellation, Vignes de l’Hospice, was included.
Do notice: these tasting notes were taken in September 2012!
A white wine for warming up (not Guigal)
2009 Arnaud Ente Bourgogne Blanc
Nose with ripe yellow fruit, apple, some oak, some flowery and perfumed notes. Medium bodied+, palate with ripe yellow fruit, some honey, good acidity, rather long aftertaste. Rather young, but fully accessible. 89 p
The three southern Rhône wines, the “méridionals”, were initially rather similar in the nose, despite some differences in varietal composition. They then started to differ more with time in the glass.
2007 Côtes du Rhône
50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre.
Deep red colour with purplish note and slightly faded edge. Fruity nose with dark berries, slightly flowery with violets, a hint of scorched almonds, a hint of development. Palate with red and dark berries, some sweetness of fruit in the attack, good concentration of fruit, a hint of alcoholic fire, fresh acidity, some tannin. Fully accessible, but can take more cellaring. 89 p
65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah.
Deep red colour with some purplish notes and slightly faded edge. Nose in a rather fruity style with dark and red berries, some spice, some graphite notes, initially some oak barrel notes. The most discrete nose among the three southern Rhône 2007s. Palate with red and dark berries, powerful concentration of fruit, noticeable spice, rather present tannins, balancing acidity, almost “barnyard-tasting”. Somewhat young, would gain from cellaring. 90+ p
Next to the other, this wine actually has a bit of Mourvèdre feeling.
80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% other grape varieties.
Deep red, deep colour with some purplish notes and slightly faded edge. Nose with rather concentrated red and some dark berries, tar, spice, some resin and pine needles, aromatic notes. Of the three, this is the one most rich in other aromas than fruits and berries. Palate with concentrated red and dark berries, sweet fruit and some alcoholic fire, great concentration of aromas, “balsamico feeling”, spice, a hint of bitterness, rather powerful tannins. A rather elegant style with the alcohol in check, young, drinks rather well now. 92+ p
100% Syrah in all wines, unless otherwise noted.
Medium red colour with slightly faded edge. Nose with dark berries (blackberries), noticeably spicy, slightly aromatic with some violets, slightly medicial note with mint and herbs – reminded me somewhat of Fisherman’s Friend. Palate wigth dark and red berries, medium concentrated fruit, noticeably tart, some spice, medium tannins, fruity and tart aftertaste. Rather young, but drinkable now. 88+ p
2007 Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde
96% Syrah, 4% Viognier.
Medium red colour with slightly faded edge. Nose with dark berries and some red berries, good concentration of fruit, slightly flowery and perfumed, a hint of balsamico, a hint of tobacco, some well integrated oak. Palate with dark and some red berries, good concentration of fruit, soft mouthfeel with some oiliness, good acidity (but not as prominent as in the Crozes), some spice, well integrated medium tannins. Rather long and balanced aftertaste. Rather young, fully approachable. 90 p
Medium red, rather dense colour with slightly faded edge. Nose with dark and red berries, good concentration of fruit, more ripe fruit note than the Brune et Blonde, spice notes including some mild spices, a hint of tar, very faint barnyard aromas. Palate with dark berries, some sweetness of fruit in the attack, powerful concentration of fruit, rather plenty of tannins but of a velvety structure, good and balancing acidity. Fruity and slightly tart aftertaste. 91+ p
2007 Saint-Joseph Vignes de la Hospice
Dark red colour. Nose with dark berries, strong balsamico notes, spice, some flowers, well integrated oak notes, some tar and liquorice. Full bodied, palate with sweetness of fruit, rather pronounced tart character, somewhat noticeable but still well integrated tannins, fruity and tart aftertaste. Young, 90+ p
A good wine, but with less finesse than the Hermitage, and less complexity than the Côte-Rôties. The palate is slightly sweeter and a bit more fiery than the Hermitage.
2007 Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis
93% Syrah, 7% Viognier.
Rather dark red colour. Nose with dark berries, pronounced balsamico notes, some flowery notes and perfume, well integrated oak. Medium bodied(+), palate with some sweetness of fruit in the attack, noticeable acidity, spice, balsamico notes. Long and balsamic-tart aftertaste. Young, 91+ p.
Comes across as slightly younger than the regular Côte-Rôtie, and has slightly less weight than the Hermitage, but a bit more elegance and freshness.
2007 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline
89% Syrah, 11% Viognier.
Rather dark red colour, slightly faded edge. Nose with dark berries, balsamico notes, noticeable flowery and perfumed notes (that are more powerful than in the other Côte-Rôties), mild spice, a hint of leather, graphite and mineral, well integrated oak; a powerful and very elegant nose. Full bodied, sweetness of fruit in the attack, dark berries, spice, balsamico notes, rather powerful tannins of a very supple and velvety character. Long and fruity aftertaste with some tannin. Young but approachable. 94+ p
2007 Côte-Rôtie La Turque
93% Syrah, 7% Viognier.
Dark red colour with some purple, slightly faded edge. Nose with dark berries, balsamico, some tar and liquorice, pronounced spice notes, some leather, some flowery notes; elegant. Full bodied, very powerful concentration of fruit, dark berries with some tart character, velvety tannins. Very long, fruity and tart aftertaste with some spice. Young, reasonably approachable. 95+ p
Compared to La Mouline, La Turque has a more powerful nose, more acidity and more tannins.
2007 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne
Dark red colour, dark core. Powerful nose with quite dark notes, “black rather than just dark berries”, rather noticeable green notes (stalkiness?), spice and pepper, some oak, balsamico, and some flowery notes in the background. After a while, more flowery notes appear while the green notes recede, making it more elegant. Palate with powerful concentration, very dark berries, powerful spice notes, quite tough tannins, and balancing acidity. The aftertaste is long with tart fruit and tannins. Impressive but tough, very young. 94+ p?
Stylistically, La Landonne differs quite a bit from La Mouline and La Turque, and doesn’t really show a typical Côte-Rôtie personality. It rather made think of Mourvèdre, or perhaps Tannat. It is interesting to note that La Landonne shows darker notes than Ex-Voto!
2007 Hermitage Ex-Voto
Dark red colour, some purple. Powerful nose with quite dark berries, powerful concentration of aromas, tar and liquorice, some leather, noticeable but well integrated oak, some flowery notes. Palate with powerful concentration, dark berries, noticeable acidity, quite powerful – almost massive – tannins. The aftertaste is long, fruity and tart. Young, reasonably approachable. 94+ p
Not entirely unlike La Turque, but a bit more in the massively fruity direction. Ex Voto and La Turque are more similar than La Turque and La Landonne!
Here is a documentary video about Guigal from 2004 that is definitely worth seeing, divided into three parts:
The Swedish version of this post can be found here.