Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2016
Cotes du Rhone
The Guigal family owns some of the most hallowed vineyards in the Rhône Valley and the world and makes some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Yet you are undoubtedly more likely to spend time with them speaking about their Côtes du Rhône Rouge. Given that this particular wine can be the introduction to the entire Rhône Valley for a drinker, as well as the position the Guigals occupy in the Rhône Valley, 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.
The Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge offers tremendous warmth, spice and pleasure, but in a decidedly individual fashion. It is, unlike virtually every other Côtes du Rhône, based on Syrah, a Northern Rhône approach that lends greater aromatic intensity and structure, though is far more difficult and costly to produce in the Southern Rhône. The aging also goes far other wine in the appellation in its category, a minimum of two years in a combination of stainless steel and foudres, with a deliberate blending over the course of that time that results in a wine of remarkable harmony and complexity. It is an extraordinary value and a benchmark for the region from one of the world’s most lauded producers.
The soils are varied among the 80 growers that Guigal consistently works with, consisting mainly sedimentary, limestone and granite soils, with many pebbles and alluvial deposits. The average yield is around 2.1 tons per acre, and the average age of the vines is 35 years.
This blend is 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre.
The wine experiences a traditional temperature controlled fermentation and long maceration. Guigal ages their Côtes du Rhône Rouge for 18 months in oak barrels. This expensive process results in a wine of unusual complexity, with a substantial and generous palate.
The 2016 vintage to the Southern Rhône Valley is akin to the absolutely outstanding 2015 in the North. There was an extended growing season, which provided freshness in the Grenache and the ripeness in the Mourvedre. The Syrah is supple and generous in style.
Cool nights during the Indian summer helped to ensure the success of the Grenache fruit, which can easily become overripe and imbue alcoholic characteristics.
The 2015 was a star, yet we are extremely excited about the 2016. It is more full-bodied, with a layered, bright, racy style.
Deep and dark red. On the nose intensely aromatic, with black fruits and spices. The palate is full, round and sexy. Round and smooth tannins present through the full bodied, ample wine. Overall a complete wine, with a long finish, with elegance and finesse accompanying the abundance of fruit and well-balanced tannins.
What can we say, we have a passion for the city of Lyon. 30 minutes from the Guigal cellars in Ampuis, Lyon can call itself the gastronomic heart of France. The birthplace of French haute cuisine, but a cuisine in general always focused around incredible ingredients properly handled more than a sense of formal stuffiness. And this love of food imbues the every day to an incredible extent. Spectacular charcuterie, patés, game, fruits and vegetables; it’s a cornucopia for wine and food lovers. The culture is warm and friendly, the cuisine reflects that sentiment, and a Côtes du Rhône Rouge from Guigal – an everyday experience turned exceptional. You can find here a few fun charcuterie tips from a friend of Guigal.
Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah
Cotes du Rhone
For nearly 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
Jeb Dunnuck (90) - December 13, 2019 "As with the white, the quality of the basic Côtes du Rhône is more than noteworthy, especially when you consider the quantity produced. From a great, great vintage for the Southern Rhône, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône shows an upfront, sunny style as well as Provençal notes of spiced red and black fruits, ground pepper, and garrigue. Drink this medium to full-bodied, ripe, sexy effort over the coming 4-6 years. It will evolve even longer, if you’re so inclined."
Wine Advocate - December 19, 2019 "A ripe, silky wine that should bring pleasure to thousands of consumers. Cherries and raspberries mark the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate adds nuances of cola, tree bark and spice [...] it represents a terrific value."
James Suckling - October 30, 2019 “Very brambly, rich and attractive tobacco, red and dark fruit and wild herbs. The palate has richness and an attractive feel with great core flesh and balance. The combination of quality, good value and accessibility here make this quite unique.”
Vinous - September 19, 2019 “Deep, brilliant ruby color. Expansive dark berry, cherry, floral and spice aromas show very good clarity and pick up darker olive and licorice notes as the wine opens up. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering juicy cherry, blackberry flavors and a spicy jolt of cracked pepper. Finishes with impressive length, sneaky tannins and a lingering suggestion of candied flowers…delivers outstanding value. The inherent elegance of the 2016 vintage comes through loud and clear. It’ll age well, too, if one is so inclined.”
More on E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2016
September 21, 2020 - VinePair columnist Ed Deitch focuses his latest review on the E. Guigal 2016 Côtes du Rhône rouge. He offers context on the region, which produces a huge range of red…
November 17, 2020 - Mass Live's wine columnist Ken Ross has offered readers a wine drinking roadmap for Thanksgiving Day and the weekend that follows, including Chateau Montelena and Guigal. He acknowledges that due…
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 dry 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 serious and satisfying. While this Rosé is always a lovely aperitif, its intensity and richness make it perfect for the table, and it pairs well with all manner of cuisines. And starting with the 2020 vintage, the wine has a stunning new proprietary bottle: a subtle enhancement for an already elegant wine!
Guigal’s Vignes de l’Hospice is one of the finest sites in the Northern Rhone Valley. This steeply terraced vineyard used to be divided into three, but Guigal now owns majority of this parcel in order to restore perception of Saint-Joseph as an appellation of utmost quality. In fact, Guigal is often asked when they will produce a fourth “LaLa,” and their response is that their fourth single vineyard phenomenon of the Northern Rhone is already being produced: the Vignes de l’Hospice.
A result of its quality, Guigal’s Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Rouge comes from the “Saint-Joseph” vineyard that gives the appellation its name. This site convinced the Guigals to work in Saint-Joseph and help to restore the historic perception of Saint-Joseph as an appellation of utmost quality. The 100% Syrah wine has complex and deep black fruit, floral, spice and mineral characteristics. Despite its concentration and powerful attack, the wine retains the trademark elegance that Saint-Joseph offers.
A result of its quality, Guigal’s Saint-Joseph Blanc Lieu Dit comes from the “Saint-Joseph” vineyard that gives the appellation its name. This site convinced the Guigals to work in Saint-Joseph and help to restore the historic perception of Saint-Joseph as an appellation of utmost quality. Saint-Joseph Blanc is a serious wine, with weight and complexity, and is deeply reflective of its vineyard sites. A seamless balance of freshness and fruitiness, pleasure and interest, and flavors and structure. Guigal’s specialty in whites is especially evident in this wine, as it is almost a deceptively serious wine.
Ermitage Ex-Voto represents the fulfillment of a longtime dream of Marcel Guigal’s to own vineyard land on the hill of Hermitage. Through the purchase of the de Vallouit and J. L. Grippat domaines in
2000, Guigal acquired four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site. The 2001 vintage was the first release of this estate-bottled Hermitage red and white. The quality of the intense old-vine fruit is quite special, but given the Guigal’s already strong work in Hermitage, they decided to only release an Ex-Voto red or white when the wine is utterly exceptional and clearly superior to their appellation bottlings.
Ermitage Ex-Voto represents the fulfillment of a longtime dream of Marcel Guigal’s to own vineyard land on the hill of Hermitage. Through the purchase of the de Vallouit and J. L. Grippat domaines in 2000, Guigal acquired four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site. The 2001 vintage was the first release of this estate-bottled Hermitage red and white. The quality of the intense old-vine fruit is quite special, but given the Guigal’s already strong work in Hermitage, they decided to only release an Ex-Voto red or white when the wine is utterly exceptional and clearly superior to their appellation bottlings.
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.
La Doriane is a luxury cuvée of Condrieu that the Guigals have produced since the 1994 vintage. A great success since the first vintage, the wine always seems richly oaked and very fruity when young, transforming in 3-4 years into a seamlessly complex, aromatic and vibrant wine. La Doriane contradicts the accepted wisdom that Condrieu does not age well.