Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2016
Cotes du Rhone
The Guigal family owns some of the most hallowed vineyards in the Rhône Valley and the world and makes some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Yet you are undoubtedly more likely to spend time with them speaking about their Côtes du Rhône Rouge. Given that this particular wine can be the introduction to the entire Rhône Valley for a drinker, as well as the position the Guigals occupy in the Rhône Valley, it is not enough for the Guigals to make a good Côtes du Rhône. They are relentlessly driven to produce a distinctive and outstanding wine that drives interest in exploring the entirety of the Rhône.
The Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge offers tremendous warmth, spice and pleasure, but in a decidedly individual fashion. It is, unlike virtually every other Côtes du Rhône, based on Syrah, a Northern Rhône approach that lends greater aromatic intensity and structure, though is far more difficult and costly to produce in the Southern Rhône. The aging also goes far other wine in the appellation in its category, a minimum of two years in a combination of stainless steel and foudres, with a deliberate blending over the course of that time that results in a wine of remarkable harmony and complexity. It is an extraordinary value and a benchmark for the region from one of the world’s most lauded producers.
The soils are varied among the 80 growers that Guigal consistently works with, consisting mainly sedimentary, limestone and granite soils, with many pebbles and alluvial deposits. The average yield is around 2.1 tons per acre, and the average age of the vines is 35 years.
This blend is 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre.
The wine experiences a traditional temperature controlled fermentation and long maceration. Guigal ages their Côtes du Rhône Rouge for 18 months in oak barrels. This expensive process results in a wine of unusual complexity, with a substantial and generous palate.
The 2016 vintage to the Southern Rhône Valley is akin to the absolutely outstanding 2015 in the North. There was an extended growing season, which provided freshness in the Grenache and the ripeness in the Mourvedre. The Syrah is supple and generous in style.
Cool nights during the Indian summer helped to ensure the success of the Grenache fruit, which can easily become overripe and imbue alcoholic characteristics.
The 2015 was a star, yet we are extremely excited about the 2016. It is more full-bodied, with a layered, bright, racy style.
Deep and dark red. On the nose intensely aromatic, with black fruits and spices. The palate is full, round and sexy. Round and smooth tannins present through the full bodied, ample wine. Overall a complete wine, with a long finish, with elegance and finesse accompanying the abundance of fruit and well-balanced tannins.
What can we say, we have a passion for the city of Lyon. 30 minutes from the Guigal cellars in Ampuis, Lyon can call itself the gastronomic heart of France. The birthplace of French haute cuisine, but a cuisine in general always focused around incredible ingredients properly handled more than a sense of formal stuffiness. And this love of food imbues the every day to an incredible extent. Spectacular charcuterie, patés, game, fruits and vegetables; it’s a cornucopia for wine and food lovers. The culture is warm and friendly, the cuisine reflects that sentiment, and a Côtes du Rhône Rouge from Guigal – an everyday experience turned exceptional. You can find here a few fun charcuterie tips from a friend of Guigal.
Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah
Cotes du Rhone
For nearly 4 decades Guigal has used only environmentally sustainable methods of pest, disease and weed control. They work to conserve biological diversity, water resources, soils and ecosystems on their land. Packaging materials are recyclable or biodegradable. Lastly, they are committed to achieving a zero waste target.
Suggested Retail Price
Jeb Dunnuck (90) - "As with the white, the quality of the basic Côtes du Rhône is more than noteworthy, especially when you consider the quantity produced. From a great, great vintage for the Southern Rhône, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône shows an upfront, sunny style as well as Provençal notes of spiced red and black fruits, ground pepper, and garrigue. Drink this medium to full-bodied, ripe, sexy effort over the coming 4-6 years. It will evolve even longer, if you’re so inclined."
James Suckling - “Very brambly, rich and attractive tobacco, red and dark fruit and wild herbs. The palate has richness and an attractive feel with great core flesh and balance. The combination of quality, good value and accessibility here make this quite unique.”
Vinous Media - “Deep, brilliant ruby color. Expansive dark berry, cherry, floral and spice aromas show very good clarity and pick up darker olive and licorice notes as the wine opens up. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering juicy cherry, blackberry flavors and a spicy jolt of cracked pepper. Finishes with impressive length, sneaky tannins and a lingering suggestion of candied flowers…delivers outstanding value. The inherent elegance of the 2016 vintage comes through loud and clear. It’ll age well, too, if one is so inclined.”
Other Wines by this Producer
Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône Blanc both sets and steps outside the standard for the appellation and showcases one of the great secrets of the Guigal family: their specialization in the great white Rhône varieties. While only 8% of the Rhône's production is white, a full 25% of Guigal’s production is white and they are today the single largest producer of whites in the Rhône Valley.
The Guigal family has made serious rosé wines since the 1940s, and their Côtes du Rhône Rosé, like all their Côtes du Rhône wines, is humble in name only. The wine bursts with irresistible fresh red fruits and yet is also long and satisfying. Because of its quality and body, it's a rosé that you can bring to the table, and do so all year long. It is a rosé that offers both refreshment and pleasure.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. The reds, which are the majority of production, have wonderful warm flavors of red and black fruit, and typical Syrah pepper, spice and savory notes.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expresiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Explosive and exotic floral and fruit aromas and flavors meld with intense mineral notes, and the silky, powerful concentration of flavors has an appealing roundness that finishes remarkably fresh.
Guigal’s Gigondas is an incredible introduction to serious Southern Rhône reds, and a show-stopper at the price. In the hands of Guigal, the rich ripe fruit and savory character of the wine bursts with sheer pleasure, yet the wine displays terrific refinement, complexity, length and ability to age.
Guigal produces an intensely concentrated, inviting and complex Châteauneuf-du Pape that is almost unique to the region today. Their passion for Châteauneuf, the leading appellation of the Southern Rhône, runs as deeply as that for their home sites in the Northern Rhône.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations, producing small quantities of extraordinarily intense and ageworthy red wine and tiny amounts of dry white. The entire vineyard consists of 309 acres planted on a single granite hillside on the banks of the Rhône. The Hermitage Rouge is the example of a racy wine, that manages to remain seductive.
Guigal is synonymous with the Côte-Rôtie area, for bringing this great wine region to prominence, and for owning three times as much land as next largest land-owner, vinifiying 1/3 of the total appellation, and unquestionably holding the finest sites in this tiny, special area. The incredible Syrah from this area, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, has tremendously balanced concentration, depth and finesse.
Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expressiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Even more of a discovery is Hermitage Blanc, one of the least-known yet most intriguing wines of the Rhône Valley and in the small 309 acre Hermitage AOC.