In his recent Rhône Valley Feature, Guildsomm writer Bruce Wiatrak writes of the legendary La Landonne vineyard. The feature is largely centered around the work the Guigal family has done since 1975 to elevate the lieu-dit to unprecedented heights.
The piece includes an in-depth interview with Philippe Guigal, who has a very special connection to the vineyard “Philippe’s grandfather Etienne began acquiring Guigal’s portion of the lieu-dit bit-by-bit in the early 1960s. When his son, Marcel, and daughter-in-law, Bernadette, revealed they were expecting, the Guigals decided to finally plant Landonne—which hadn’t seen vines for decades—in Philippe’s honor.”
Since Philippe’s birth and subsequent plantings in 1975, La Landonne has joined the ranks of La Mouline and La Turque to become icons of the Rhône valley. Waitrak puts it best asserting that “Guigal’s La-Las, and most particularly La Landonne, upend that stereotype, delivering wines of brawny, unbridled power. Such an approach, which detractors might decry for its extraction and clear markers of new oak, also ushered in for Côte-Rôtie a new era of “modernism,” for lack of a better term, analogous to what could also be observed in regions like Rioja or Barolo in the last decades of the 20th century.”
To learn more about the Gugial’s riveting influence and history in the Valley, read the full feature HERE.La-Landonne
One of the three “LaLa” wines that Guigal produces and are the most collectible wines of the Rhone Valley, La Landonne is a remarkable expression of terroir. And for good reason, La Landonne is situated on one of the steepest vineyards of the Côte Brune, a 45 degree slope that remarkably requires harvesters to start picking from the bottom of the vineyard and work their way up, placing grape bunches in bins that are set on sleds and dragged up the hill. Along with its position at the northern end of the Côte Brune and the fact it is the last vineyard to ripen, La Landonne is the mirror of the feminine and voluptuous La Mouline: it is a wine of driving power, defined by its dark fruit and structure. The first vintage Guigal produced was in 1978, after being planted in 1975 at the time of Philippe Guigal’s birth.
Rhône Valley, France
The more you learn about the Guigal family, the more astounding becomes their story. Their wines are the benchmarks for every Rhone appellation, and over the last thirty years they have become arguably the most lauded producer in the world. Year after year the Guigal family produces wines of exceptional quality that in all classes offer exceptional value.