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.
Composed of old-vine Grenache (70%), Mourvèdre (15%), Syrah (10%), and the balance of traditional grapes of the appellation. The vines average 50 years of age and are planted on the unique rocky alluvial (the famous “galets”) and red clay soils of the area. Yields are low at around 1.8 tons per acre.
While the Guigals grow and purchase fruit in the Northern Rhône, because they cannot be on site in the Southern Rhône they purchase wines as soon as possible after harvest, often before malolactic conversion is finished. They look for wines of depth, balance and, above all, the ability to age and become great wines. This Châteauneuf represents work with 45 producers.
The Guigals more specifically age their wine far longer than almost anyone in the appellation, allowing it to develop complexity of flavor and texture, and making for an outstanding drinking experience on release. The blended wines spend 2-3 years in large oak foudres followed by extended bottle aging.
In summary: a cool start followed by a late harvest vintage. The cold, wet spring in 2013 was followed by a generally normal summer and fine fall. Ultimately the spring conditions led to low yields, in particular for Grenache. There is an appealing freshness to the wines, and the Guigal’s long aging was especially beneficial to rounding out the body and refinement.
A deep, dark and dense red color. The nose has notes of spice, red berries, and preserved fruits. On the palate, the wine is complex and powerful, with round tannins and notes of ripe plum and cherry stone. Overall, an ample, rich and harmonious wine with beautiful balance.
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Wine Spectator - "This is an old-school version, with bay leaf, cedar and leather notes running in lockstep with dried red currant, cherry and plum fruit flavors. Accents of brick dust, sage and cedar score the finish, yet this is never drying or overly rustic in feel, ending with a mineral edge that lends freshness."
Jeb Dunnuck - “Shows the fresh, classic, focused style of the vintage. Peppery herbs, lots of garrigue, saddle leather, and darker fruits emerge from this complex, medium-bodied effort that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 10-15 years.”
Wine Advocate - "The 2013 Chateauneuf du Pape is the current release, having spent three years in foudres prior to bottling. It’s ready to drink, yet it still has some tannin to offer and marries that structure to notes of cherries, leather and licorice on the supple finish.”
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
The Guigal family has made serious 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 long and satisfying. Because of its quality and body, it's a rosé that you can bring to the table, and do so all year long. It is a rosé that offers both refreshment and pleasure.
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.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. The reds, which are the majority of production, have wonderful warm flavors of red and black fruit, and typical Syrah pepper, spice and savory notes.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expresiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Explosive and exotic floral and fruit aromas and flavors meld with intense mineral notes, and the silky, powerful concentration of flavors has an appealing roundness that finishes remarkably fresh.
Guigal’s Gigondas is an incredible introduction to serious Southern Rhône reds, and a show-stopper at the price. In the hands of Guigal, the rich ripe fruit and savory character of the wine bursts with sheer pleasure, yet the wine displays terrific refinement, complexity, length and ability to age.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations, producing small quantities of extraordinarily intense and ageworthy red wine and tiny amounts of dry white. The entire vineyard consists of 309 acres planted on a single granite hillside on the banks of the Rhône. The Hermitage Rouge is the example of a racy wine, that manages to remain seductive.
Guigal is synonymous with the Côte-Rôtie area, for bringing this great wine region to prominence, and for owning three times as much land as next largest land-owner, vinifiying 1/3 of the total appellation, and unquestionably holding the finest sites in this tiny, special area. The incredible Syrah from this area, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, has tremendously balanced concentration, depth and finesse.
Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expressiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Even more of a discovery is Hermitage Blanc, one of the least-known yet most intriguing wines of the Rhône Valley and in the small 309 acre Hermitage AOC.