Côte-Rôtie La Landonne 2019
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.
2019 is the latest in an unprecedented string of magnificent vintages in the Northern Rhône Valley, with extremely high quality in all appellations and at all levels. It stands out amongst a remarkable sequence of exceptional vintages here, a run that spans the years 2015 through 2020 (with the frost-shattered 2021 also likely to be superb, what there is of it), and the 2022 already promising to be excellent. Following the intense but also charming 2017s, and the forceful and forward 2018s, the 2019 reds are once again powerful wines with deep, healthy colors and pinpoint balance. Acidity levels and tannin content are both higher in this vintage than in the two prior, framing the 2019s as a hypothetical cross between the classic 2016s and the rich, forward 2018s. Yields were impacted by hail in some appellations, but outside of Crozes-Hermitage the damage was slight, and 2019 overall was a vintage of average size. The intensely concentrated fruit, framed by healthy acidity and deep, ripe tannins is perfectly suited to Guigal’s method of extended élèvage, and the 2019s should prove to be among the longest-lived vintages in recent memory.
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.
Suggested Retail Price
James Suckling - May 25, 2023
"Still very youthful, this has a deep nose of smoke, bitter chocolate and herbal liqueur. The gigantic tannin structure on the palate will need many years of further aging to completely resolve, but the tannins are fine which gives the super-long finish an extraordinary texture, like old-fashioned velvet. So much smoke and crushed rock character! A pure syrah which is then fermented with 100% whole bunches." - S.P 5/23
Wine Advocate (98-100) - June 14, 2023
"The impenetrably dark 2019 Cote Rotie La Landonne represents the essence of this fabled lieu-dit [...] It's full-bodied, concentrated, richly tannic and long on the finish—simply a superb wine that should be flirting with perfection when it is released in a couple of years." - J.C 2/22
Jeb Dunnuck (98-100) - June 14, 2023
"As always, the 2019 Côte Rôtie La Landonne is all Syrah that was not destemmed and will spend four years in new French oak. A wine with perfection written all over it, it's one of the most impressive barrel samples to ever pass this critic's lips. Deep purple/black-hued with a massive, full-bodied, brooding style, it has classic smoky, meaty black fruits, a touch of iron, graphite, tobacco, and pepper, building tannins, and a huge finish. This is pure brilliance in Syrah, yet as with just about every vintage here, it will require a solid decade of bottle age." - J.D 12/22
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.