Côte-Rôtie La Landonne 2016
One of three single-vineyard Cru Côte Rôtie in the Guigal estate, La Landonne is a remarkable expression of terroir and one of the world’s most coveted wines. And for good reason, as 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. Marcel Guigal assembled this vineyard over 10 years though parcel-by-parcel acquisitions from 17 growers. The vineyard was totally replanted in 1975, the year of Philippe Guigal’s birth, and the first vintage was 1978.
The La Landonne vineyard sits on clay-limestone soil, very rich in iron oxides, lending additional polyphenols. The 5.7 acre site is planted entirely with Syrah. It took the Guigals more than a decade to acquire this vineyard, acquiring it from numerous small owners parcel by parcel.
La Landonne is the one Guigal Cote-Rotie wine that is rarely destemmed to any degree. The wine is continuously pumped over, with fermentation and maceration lasting 4 weeks.
The wine is aged 42 months in new oak barrels, all made by Guigal at Chateau d’Ampuis.
2016 began with a cool and rainy spring, with some threat form hail and mildew early on, and very late flowering. However, fine weather through August and September provide perfect conditions for a classic vintage, and the Côte Rôtie vineyards were harvested between late September and mid-October. The resulting wines are excellent, with great purity, concentration and balance. Philippe Guigal calls 2016 a ‘classic’ vintage for [La Turque, La Landonne, La Mouline], with expected aging potential of 25 years or more.
To the eye, the wine is red black with deep dark tints. The nose is presented with powerful and intense aromas of small black fruits, liquorice and roasted notes and oriental spices. The palate immediately begins with a powerful attack of important tannic structure. Rich and concentrated, the wine is fully expressive of the terroir. Overall, there is great ageing potential, structured and concentrated with a rare intensity of flavour and colour.
Guigal uses 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.
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Wine Spectator - “This sports some ripe black cherry, bitter plum and black currant fruit flavors allied to a bolt of cast iron through the middle, while mesquite, bay leaf and savory notes scurry about. Shows lots of energy and detail on the finish, with the cast iron edge extending lengthily. Should cruise in the cellar."
Jeb Dunnuck - “The 2016 Côte Rôtie La Landonne showed brilliantly, with the more fresh, classic, and elegant style of the vintage front and center. All Syrah aged four years in new French oak, it has a magical bouquet of blackcurrants, blackberries, smoked meat, roasted coffee, bacon fat, and graphite that's to die for. This carries over to the palate, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a flawlessly balanced texture, ripe yet silky tannins, and the hallmark purity and freshness of the vintage."
Wine Advocate - “The 2016 Cote Rotie La Landonne is showing a bit more grip than last time I tasted it, with hints of green coffee bean on the nose alongside ripe black cherries and a heap of dried spices. Medium to full-bodied, with ample concentration and plenty of tannin, it should prove to be the longest-lived of Guigal's 2016s."
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.
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.