Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2018
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 2.2-2.5 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.
Spring in the South was very wet, interrupting the flowering and causing significant crop loss (up to 40%). The Summer was stable and dry, leading into perfect autumn which allowed even ripening and excellent phenolic development. Harvest took place in late September under clear skies. The reds are classic – with ripe tannins, adequate but fresh acidities, and excellent concentration (due to the low crop).
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
"Cherry cola and menthol"
Vinous - December 22, 2022
"Deep violet color. Ripe dark berry, cherry-cola and menthol aromas on the spice- and smoke-tinged nose. In a fleshy, open-knit style, showing good depth and a pleasing touch of jamminess to its broad black raspberry and cherry flavors. The spicy note recurs on the gently tannic finish, which lingers with very good tenacity." -J.R 12/22
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Other Wines by this Producer
Côtes du Rhône Blanc
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.
Côtes du Rhône Rosé
The Guigal family has made serious dry 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 serious and satisfying. While this Rosé is always a lovely aperitif, its intensity and richness make it perfect for the table, and it pairs well with all manner of cuisines. And starting with the 2020 vintage, the wine has a stunning new proprietary bottle: a subtle enhancement for an already elegant wine!
Saint Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice
Guigal’s Vignes de l’Hospice is one of the finest sites in the Northern Rhone Valley. This steeply terraced vineyard used to be divided into three, but Guigal now owns majority of this parcel in order to restore perception of Saint-Joseph as an appellation of utmost quality. In fact, Guigal is often asked when they will produce a fourth “LaLa,” and their response is that their fourth single vineyard phenomenon of the Northern Rhone is already being produced: the Vignes de l’Hospice.
Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Rouge
A result of its quality, Guigal’s Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Rouge comes from the “Saint-Joseph” vineyard that gives the appellation its name. This site convinced the Guigals to work in Saint-Joseph and help to restore the historic perception of Saint-Joseph as an appellation of utmost quality. The 100% Syrah wine has complex and deep black fruit, floral, spice and mineral characteristics. Despite its concentration and powerful attack, the wine retains the trademark elegance that Saint-Joseph offers.
Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Blanc
A result of its quality, Guigal’s Saint-Joseph Blanc Lieu Dit comes from the “Saint-Joseph” vineyard that gives the appellation its name. This site convinced the Guigals to work in Saint-Joseph and help to restore the historic perception of Saint-Joseph as an appellation of utmost quality. Saint-Joseph Blanc is a serious wine, with weight and complexity, and is deeply reflective of its vineyard sites. A seamless balance of freshness and fruitiness, pleasure and interest, and flavors and structure. Guigal’s specialty in whites is especially evident in this wine, as it is almost a deceptively serious wine.
Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc
Ermitage Ex-Voto represents the fulfillment of a longtime dream of Marcel Guigal’s to own vineyard land on the hill of Hermitage. Through the purchase of the de Vallouit and J. L. Grippat domaines in
2000, Guigal acquired four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site. The 2001 vintage was the first release of this estate-bottled Hermitage red and white. The quality of the intense old-vine fruit is quite special, but given the Guigal’s already strong work in Hermitage, they decided to only release an Ex-Voto red or white when the wine is utterly exceptional and clearly superior to their appellation bottlings.
Ermitage Ex Voto Rouge
Ermitage Ex-Voto represents the fulfillment of a longtime dream of Marcel Guigal’s to own vineyard land on the hill of Hermitage. Through the purchase of the de Vallouit and J. L. Grippat domaines in 2000, Guigal acquired four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site. The 2001 vintage was the first release of this estate-bottled Hermitage red and white. The quality of the intense old-vine fruit is quite special, but given the Guigal’s already strong work in Hermitage, they decided to only release an Ex-Voto red or white when the wine is utterly exceptional and clearly superior to their appellation bottlings.
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. The combination of working with top fruit that has perfect ripeness, along with their extraordinary patience in the cellar, results in rich and full, yet savory, spicy, seamless and balanced wines. Wines to enjoy immediately but capable of aging, and, above all, wines that leave you wanting more.
Condrieu La Doriane
La Doriane is a luxury cuvée of Condrieu that the Guigals have produced since the 1994 vintage. A great success since the first vintage, the wine always seems richly oaked and very fruity when young, transforming in 3-4 years into a seamlessly complex, aromatic and vibrant wine. La Doriane contradicts the accepted wisdom that Condrieu does not age well.