Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018
Côtes du Rhône
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. It is a beautiful, seamless wine that represents unbelievable value.
Guigal produces an almost completely distinct Côtes du Rhône Blanc due to their Northern Rhône mindset. Wines under this general appellation are dominated by Southern Rhône grapes, namely Grenache Blanc. Since 1991 the Guigals have searched for and worked with growers to encourage plantings of Viognier for their Côtes du Rhône Blanc, as they have a love story with this grape that was nearly extinct in the middle of the last century. They believe the Viognier adds critical freshness and aromatics to the other varieties. The wine is a blend of 60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc and 2% Grenache Blanc.
Handled at low temperatures and then fermented 100% in stainless steel tanks. While the key to this wine is its play of freshness with the expressive, concentrated fruit, it has complexity that means it benefits from some aging and development. It was held until 9 months after harvest in stainless steel.
The 2018 vintage in the Rhône was marked by wet weather through the end of June followed by a relatively hot and dry summer and fall. Quantities in the north were exceptional, while in the south crop levels were impacted by the excessive heat and also mildew. All told, 2018 is an excellent vintage of great ripeness, concentration and structure, suffering only from a markedly smaller crop in the south.
A bright, golden color on first look. A fresh note marked by distinctive Viognier aromas of white flowers, apricot, acacia and white peach. The fruits come through on the palate, with plenty of richness and body. A well-rounded wine with elegance, power and balance.
Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier
Côtes du Rhône
For 4 decades Guigal has used only environmentally sustainable methods of pest, disease and weed control. They work to conserve biological diversity, water resources, soils and ecosystems on their land. Packaging materials are recyclable or biodegradable. Lastly, they are committed to achieving a zero waste target.
Suggested Retail Price
Vinous Media -
"Light yellow. Mineral-tinged aromas of Meyer lemon, pear and white peach are complemented by a suave floral overtone. Juicy, pure and energetic on the palate, offering pliant orchard and pit fruit and honeysuckle flavors that show sharp definition and back-end lift. Rich but energetic as well, delivering strong finishing cut and lingering florality. The Viognier is definitely making itself heard here."
Jeb Dunnuck - "The quality of this cuvée has soared over the past decade, and the 2018 Côtes du Rhône Blanc is another terrific vintage. Tasting like a mini Condrieu with its floral, orange blossom, and honeysuckle aromas and flavors, it’s medium-bodied, fresh, and lively on the palate, with an attractive mix of richness and freshness."
More on E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018
January 7, 2021 - To start off the New Year right, the Washington Post curated an excellent selection of "great value wines" to enjoy in 2021. The list features the 2018 E. Guigal Côtes…
January 5, 2021 - The Washington Post included E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018 in the publication's first wine column in 2021. Longtime wine columnist Dave McIntyre selected the Guigal white because it…
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.
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.