Sunday 3 November 2013

Oh La La - Nine Vintages of La Landonne, Guigal

It was time. Nine bottles of La Landonne from Guigal had been opened hours before and for some of the vintages double decanted hours before the first pour. Everyone smelled perfect, not a single cork damaged wine in sight - thankfully!
Here is the background to the tasting. One of the original cellar members couldn´t make it so we invited a couple of other interested parties. We were six around the table, a perfect number in that you can go back and taste the wines again and again during the evening.

The first flight was impressive, but flight two was really an embarrassment of riches - my lowest score in flight two was 96p! :-) Would love to do a similar tasting of La Mouline (usually my favourite of the three cuvées) and La Turque - but I guess I have to go out and rob a bank before that will be a reality...

Flight I
1996 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
A gorgeously deep, meaty nose with notes of blueberries, dark cherries, raw meat, bakelite, wet earth and lightly crushed white peppers. Just beautiful. With air notes of resin and dried flowers emerge. Even though I know that this is a 100% Syrah wine, it feels like there is some Viognier here.
The taste is tight, intense and peppery with stunning blueberry and blackberry fruit intermingled with notes of crushed white peppers, violets, meat and undergrowth. A plus minute long finish with a lovely warmth. Perfectly polished tannins. A stunner.
96p   (tasted 2013/10)

1994 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
This 91 point wine is the slouch in whole line up - that is the class of these wines. The nose is deep, somewhat mature and cool with notes of red currants, sweet lingonberries, violet pastilles, dried flowers and asphalt. Medium deep and fine.
The taste is tight, peppery and medium bodied with a good amount of tannins still and notes of lingon- and blueberry bushes, cherry pips, veal meat and autumn leaves. The finish is long and finely balanced. This is in my opinion fully mature and if you have any, drink them.
91p   (tasted 2013/10)

1993 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
The supposedly weak bottle in the line up - 86p by Parker - showed, yet again, why ratings should be taken with a grain of salt - except mine of course. :-)
The nose is deep, a tad mature and nicely balanced with notes of red currants, blueberries, autumn leaves, dried flowers, veal meat and a touch of mint. Complex and fine. A laid back mature sweetness. Very, very fine.
The taste is medium bodied and mature with elegant notes of blueberries, grilled meat, balsa wood, dried flowers and autumn leaves. Long and fine. There is a coolness to the mature fruit that makes it fresh and lively. Should be drunk before 2020.
92p   (tasted 2013/10)

1980 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
Given this blind - the others tasted single blind but I knew the order of the bottles - I would never had guessed it to be 33 years old. The nose flows up from the glass with stunning notes of ripe blueberries, grilled meat, old expensive leather, rubber and a perfect autumn walk in the woods. Amazing power and freshness given its age. Great!
The taste is big, round and tight with notes of blueberries, dried herbs, leather, violets and some crushed black peppers. The finish is long, intense and warm. Some dried flowers in the end of the finish. Very balanced. This should easily live for another 10-15 years, based on this bottle.
94p   (tasted 2013/10)

Flight II
1992 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
A deep, intense, spicy nose with a hint of maturity and lovely notes of fresh blueberries, raw meat, violets, resin, dried flowers and wood smoke. So, so fine. Some cigar ashes after a while. Deep and profound. Just stunning.
The taste is tight, potent and concentrated with juicy notes of white peppered meat, violets, blueberry pie, rubber and dried flowers. The finish is plus one minute long with an amazing elegance and focus. The tannins holds a firm grip on the end of the finish. I think this has hit its plateau of evolvement but will surely stay there for 10+ years.
96p   (tasted 2013/10)

1995 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
A semi young, deep, spicy nose with notes of cool blue- and blackberries, matchbox, veal meat, raspberry truffles, crushed white peppers and a touch of banana peel. Complex and stunningly beautiful. Handsome. This has more to give. Impressive.
The taste is tight, black and sooo intense with notes of sweet blue- and blackberries, crushed white peppers, violet pastilles, grilled meat and some rubber notes. A long, long finish with some sturdy tannins. Evolves all night long and the final sip is all about lightly white peppered raspberries - simply divine.
97p   (tasted 2013/10)

1997 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
A young, potent, dramatic nose with notes of sweet black cherries, violets, resin, chocolate cherry truffles and a whole moist autumn forest. Very deep and tight. This is still very young. Needs a lot of time to really open up. A impressive structure.
The taste is like a steamroller in the mouth with sweet fruit, tight tannins and a fine acidity in perfect harmony. Wonderful notes of black peppered meat, blueberries, sage, violet pastilles, dark chocolate and a touch of resin. The finish goes on seemingly forever. This needs +5 years to really unravel, but then it will be a perfect specimen.
97p   (tasted 2013/10)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
This perfect specimen will also surely evolve more over the coming 10+ years, but when perfection stares you in the face, you just got to surrender.
The nose is bottomless deep with hauntingly beautiful notes of sweet blueberries, veal meat, violets en masse, rubber, pinewood and a stunning perfumed note. This has to be smelled to be believed. Words seems so inadequate. Perfection in a glass.
I sometime use Braodbents expression of an "iron fist in a velvet glove" to describe a great taste, and the 1998 La Landonne could be the poster child for that taste. So good that it almost bring tears to my eyes. Impressive notes of blueberries, black cherries, crushed black peppers, violet pastilles, grilled meat, mushrooms and asphalt. The finish goes on for over two minutes. Still not fully matured, this will evolve slowly over the coming 10-15 years. I guess that the only thing that could compare with drinking this wine would be this...
100p   (tasted 2013/10)

1999 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
The nose on this masterpiece is a masterpiece in itself - the notes of dripping sweet blueberries, violets, dark chocolate truffles, summer flowers, mushrooms and some tarry aromas is just marvellous. So deep, so complex and so utterly hedonistic. Still very young, but absolutely impossible to resist today.
You have to pour some of this elixir over your tongue to believe how good it is. There is an awesome structure and inside the frame of that structure there are masses of sweet fruit, hand polished tannins and a fantastic acidity. Pure, sweet notes of blueberries, blackberries, violets, veal meat, rubber, matchbox and pinewood. The finish goes on for minutes. This will surely hit perfection in 5-10 years time but for know it is as close as one can get...
99p   (tasted 2013/10)


  1. Fantastisk provning, och att vinerna var så bra. Mest positivt överraskad är jag över hur bra 1992 och 1993 var. Jag minns dessa årgångar som unga, de var svaga, speciellt 1993. Jag trodde inte då att den skulle klara 20 års lagring. Imponerande.

    1. Hej Claes, ja dom var imponerande. Det var faktiskt några som hade 93:an som favorit i första flighten. Och 92:an skulle jag kunna dricka varje dag i veckan...:-)