E. Guigal 2017 | Tasting Review

Tonight Brett Crittenden, Guigal’s International Brand Ambassador took us through a ranging representation of this top Rhone producer’s wines. Although Guigal is one of the world’s most recognised wine brands, its history in European terms is relatively recent having been established in 1947 by Etienne Guigal. In 1961 his son Marcel took over and then more recently Marcel’s son Philippe has been in charge. The family only own around  67 ha of their own vineyards, but these are some of the best in the Northern Rhone – in Côte-Rôtie; carefully selected sites in both Condrieu and Saint Joseph; four parcels in Hermitage; and some of the finest vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage. The rest of their wines are sourced from contracted growers in the North and from the South they purchase unfinished wines as they ferment – these selections are based on quality and it is very financially rewarding for growers to have their wine selected for a Guigal wine. uigal unusually have their own cooperage and also select their own oak trees for barrel production. The focus is always on quality control.

Such is the quality, supply and demand of Guigal’s top wines, we sold out of many of the wines tasted on the night.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2015

Guigal (much like Yalumba in Australia) are big fans of Viognier and have been at the heart of the renaissance of the variety in its homeland and hold the most Viognier vineyards of any Rhone producer. The result is that this has a much higher portion of the noble Viognier than is usual for Cotes du Rhone. Viognier makes up 60-65% of the blend, while the rest is a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette, and Grenache Blanc. Floral, waxy, lemon, honeysuckle with a fresh, bright palate.

Guigal St Joseph Lieu- Dit Joseph Blanc 2014

The St. Joseph lieu dit blanc sees 50% new French oak iand is made from 96% Marsanne and 5 % Roussane. It is a wine that displays the soil from whence it comes brilliantly – river pebble, dusty dry soils. There are notes of white flowers, roasted pear and spice along with a salty, manzanilla sherry-like tone. This is an exceptional and strong white with plenty of tannins and natural acidity.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rose 2015

A blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre. A good bright pink colour. Dry with red currant, melon and sour cherry flavours. There is good body and texture. It is made in a style that doesn’t rely on youthful freshness.

Guigal Cotes du Rhône Rouge 2013

A wine that really needs no introduction. Around 350 growers provide the fruit for this wine and Brett described the assemblage of the wine as being like a ‘great big jig-saw’. Unusually for a Cotes du Rhône, this has a high percentage of Syrah at around 60%. Also unusually it is released as an older wine (Guigal hold back all their wines) to allow integration and flavour development for more drinking pleasure.