Crozes-Hermitage brings you into the Northern Rhône Valley, where the red wines have a profile unlike anywhere else in the world, an irresistible combination of warm flavors of red and black fruit, exotic spice notes, and certainly in the case of Crozes, with pleasure and approachability in youth.
It’s important to note that most of Crozes-Hermitage is produced from the plains to the south and east of Hermitage, and these wines tend to be straightforward. Guigal’s approach is to make a more serious Crozes that also has vigor, intensity and depth. In Guigal’s hands, Crozes becomes a wine that delivers quality and pleasure far beyond its price.
Guigal first produced a Crozes-Hermitage in 1999 after the acquisition of low-yielding, hillside vineyards. Since then they have continued to purchase similar quality vineyards, exclusively on hillsides, on soils that tend to limestone, clay silt and sandy gravel, with vine age averaging 35 years. The vineyards are grouped in the north of the appellation, specifically around the villages of Gervans, Mercurol, Larnage and Crozes-Hermitage itself.
This 100% Syrah was fermented in stainless steel tanks and was then aged for 18 months in 228 liter barrels exclusively produced at Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis cooperage.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the truly great vintages in the Northern Rhône valley. Following a very wet Spring, Summer was dry and hot – the warmest vintage since 2003. Harvest was quick and early, with yields slightly above average. Fruit was uniformly ripe, resulting in red wines that are dense and concentrated, with exceptionally deep color and rich tannins; similar to 2015, but with even more intensity.
Aromas of smoke, plums and spice burst from the glass, and the palate is rich and dense – packed with fruit which covers the wine’s substantial structure. Thoroughly appealing now, the 2018 will easily last for a decade or more – and impressive and promising introduction to this great Rhône vintage.
Suggested Retail Price
"Ripeness and plushness"
Wine Advocate (90-92) - November 9, 2020 "Tasted against the 2016 and 2017, Guigal's 2018 Crozes Hermitage reveals another level of ripeness and plushness. It's full-bodied, maybe even a little jammy (not a problem at this youthful stage of its evolution), without being heavy or overdone."
"Solid Core of Red Fruits"
James Suckling - September 2, 2022 "Aromas of red fruit and berries, thyme, red licorice and grated nutmeg. Full-bodied with guiding tannins. Straightforward with a solid core of red fruits. Bark and moss undertones." - J.S 8/22
"Hint of candied flowers"
Vinous - December 22, 2022 "Saturated ruby. Ripe, smoke-accented dark fruit, olive paste and cracked pepper qualities on the nose. Broad and supple in texture, offering vaguely jammy blackberry and kirsch flavors and a hint of candied flowers. Finishes pliant and long, with repeating olive and pepper notes and round, even tannins. Weightier than usual for this bottling, and more like its Saint-Joseph sibling this vintage." - J.R 12/22
"Shine right out of the gate"
Jeb Dunnuck (89-92) - November 9, 2020
"I loved the 2018 Crozes-Hermitage, which is similar to the 2017 yet offers a touch more purity of fruit. Blackberries, black raspberries, smoked game, and earth all emerge from this medium to full-bodied effort that’s going to shine right out of the gate."
More on E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage 2018
The 42 Best Syrahs to Buy Right Now
June 17, 2021 - Food & Wine contributor Brian Freedman included 2016 E. Guigal Château d'Ampuis Côte-Rôtie and 2018 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage in an article titled, “The 42 Best Syrahs to Buy Right Now.”…
Other Wines by this Producer
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 they occupy in the Rhône, 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.
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.