Wednesday 4 December 2013

A Tasting Lunch With Philippe Guigal

VinUnic invited, I went. :-)

2012 Côtes du Rhône Blanc, Guigal
A good, uncomplicated white wine, predominantly Viognier (65%) that has a light, flowery nose and a ligth, flowery taste with a decent acidity and a medium length. For 10 Euro, this is well worth its money.
83p   (tasted 2013/11)

2012 Condrieu, Guigal
As I have said before, Viognier is far from my favourite grape. This example shows a flowery, spicy, sweet nose with lots of ripe peach, flower water and spicy lemons.
The taste is big, warm and spicy with notes of ripe lemons, ripe yellow apples and lots and lots of flowers. The acidity is to low for my liking. Some oaky notes. This is ok, but that´s it.
84p   (tasted 2013/11)

2012 Condrieu La Doriane, Guigal
The only Viognier wine I have ever really liked in the past was a vintage of La Doriane (don´t remember which one). And here is another great bottle of Viognier - at last! The nose is big and spicy but with a matching depth and interesting notes of matchbox, christmas spices, oil cloth and grilled lemons. Very, very good.
The taste is big, intense and concentrated with notes of lemon peel, ripe yellow apples, fudge, matchbox and some fine oaky notes. The finish is long and focused. This has acidity to match the fruit. Very fine.
90p   (tasted 2013/11)

2011 Saint-Joseph Lieu-Dit Blanc, Guigal
A rather small but nice nose with notes of dried apricots, lemon peel, summer flowers and a element of iron. Medium deep. Lacks a bit of oomph.
The taste is better with well focused yellow fruit and notes of summer flowers, lime cream, tangerines and some fudge/vanilin (from the oak). A long, balanced finish. Very nice.
86p   (tasted 2013/11)

2010 Hermitage Ex Voto Blanc, Guigal
Holy cow! This is a stunner! A tight, intense and gorgeously pure nose with notes of grilled lemons, tangerines, summer flowers, wet earth, peach and a salty aroma that is luxurious. Really, really fine. This has depth, power and class.
This is built like a masterpiece with everything in place - fruit, acidity, structure, balance. The taste goes on for minutes and is full of grilled lemons, freshly cut flowers, smoke, dried honey and butter biscuits. Long, long and long. A beautiful fresh acidity. I would love to have a evening with this beauty.
96p   (tasted 2013/11)

2010 Côtes du Rhône, Guigal
The Ex Voto is hard act to follow and the first sip of this Côtes du Rhône felt somewhat sharp and foursquare. The following sips went down better with some fresh lingon- and blueberry fruit, balsa wood and herbs on the nose and the same characteristic in the mouth. Easy drinking and very good, considering the amounts they produce of this.
83p   (tasted 2013/11)

2009 Crozes Hermitage, Guigal
A fine, spicy nose with notes of sweet lingonberries, earth, dog fur and some crushed white peppers. Good. Young and fresh.
The taste is young and seedy with notes of lingon- and blueberries, dry chocolate, dried herbs and some foursquare tannins. A bit adolescent. The nose is better today.
84p   (tasted 2013/11)

2010 Saint-Joseph, Guigal
A cool, fine, laid back nose with notes of blueberries, veal meat, licorice and warm rocks. A fine flowery note. Very good.
The taste is young, tight and fresh with notes of ripe blueberries, cigarette ashes, lightly peppered meat and earth. A medium long finish with balancing acidity and tannins. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2013/11)

2010 Saint-Joseph Lieu-Dit, Guigal
This is warmer and more concentrated that the previous glass, with notes of  blue- and blackberries, violets, dark fudge and Lily of the valley. Deep and fine.
The taste is big, tight and focused with notes of spiced up blueberries, dark chocolate, violets and dried flowers. A long, intense finish. This needs 3-5 years in the cellar. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2013/11)

2010 Saint-Joseph Vignes de l´Hospice, Guigal
An impressive trio of Saint-Joseph, and big papa bear comes, as usual, last. A deep, piercing, concentrated nose with lots of sweet blueberry fruit paired with notes of violets, cigarette ashes, hot earth, flowers and raw meat. Very fine. Both refined and hedonistic.
The taste is really intense, pure and complex with notes of sweet blue- and blackberries, crushed white pepper, hot earth, dried flowers and cigarette ashes. The finish is plus one minute long. Lots of finely inbedded tannins. Give this baby 7+ years. Great stuff.
94p   (tasted 2013/11)

2009 Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde, Guigal
The 09 version of Brune et Blonde opens with a warm, spicy, medium deep nose with lots of fresh blackberries and notes of earth, violets, veal meat and blood orange peel. Very good.
The taste is big, tight and focused with a very fine sweet fruit, balancing tannins, a fine spicy element and a long, warm, juicy finish. This will be fine after some years in the cellar.
90p   (tasted 2013/11)

2006 Hermitage, Guigal
This 7 year old Hermitage has a ripe, big, semi mature nose full of notes of warm plums, hot earth, meat stock, a hint of orange peel and a fine animal note. Very interesting.
The taste is big and broad with fine notes of blueberry pie, violets, dried herbs, juniper berries and warm earth. Very long and fine. The beginning maturity adds complexity. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2013/11)

2009 Hermitage Ex Voto, Guigal
The both Ex Voto´s showed off this day. The red version has a deep, intense and refined nose with notes of blackberries, black olive tapenade, chocolate covered blueberries, fresh rosemary, dried flowers and a touch of cinnamon. Very, very fine. Very deep and very elegant.
The taste is young, tight and really intense with an exquisite blueberry fruit paired with notes of violet pastills, rosemary, fresh meat, warm tiles and black olives. The finish goes on and on. This has a very fine balance. Stunning.
95p   (tasted 2013/11)

2009 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, Guigal
I tasted this a couple of weeks ago but there was something wrong with that bottle. Not with this one! The nose is a dream come true, with almost surreal notes of white pepper dusted blueberries, juniper berries, resin, christmas spices, violet pastills and a gorgeously perfumed aroma. The depth is amazing, the lightness is remarkable and the focus is extraordinary. We are in presence of future perfection.
The taste is built like a Georg Haupt chest of drawers - perfection in every detail. The purity of the fruit is amazing, there are a myraid of notes but the lasting impression is of a wine in total harmony. The only thing missing is 10-15 years in the cellar... Easily one of the best wines of the year.
98p   (tasted 2013/11)

2009 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
The La Turque is a fantastic wine but side by side with the two others La La it suffers somewhat. The nose is big, deep and concentrated with a lovely smoky character to the blue- and blackberries alongside scents of licorice, violets, black pepper and dark chocolate. Very, very fine, make no mistake about it.
The taste is very, very tight, intense and pure with notes of blackberries, black olive tapenade, ginger bread, hot rocks and a tiny note of toothpaste. A massive wave of tannins in the long, long finish. This is going to turn out even greater, if you just give it 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2013/11)

2009 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
You should wait at least 15 years until you break open a bottle of La Landonne, as our tasting of 9 vintages recently was proof of. How about this youngster then?
The nose is very, very deep, at first a little restrained, but with air it blossom into a pit full of the sweetest blueberries imaginable, dark moist earth, tar/asphalt, raw meat, violets and expensive soap. The deepest, most structured nose of the three.
The taste is a steamroller of black sweet fruit, boatloads of massive tannins, a high acidity and a finish that won´t quit. This will need those 15 years, at least. But I would gladly drink this every day of the week. Sooo impressive!
97p   (tasted 2013/11)

My notebook and three La La´s...

More impressions here and here (an interview with Philippe).

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