Côte-Rôtie La Turque 2015
La Turque is Guigal’s most recent addition to the single-vineyard Cru Côte-Rôties, coming over as part of their purchase of the Vidal-Fleury firm in 1980. La Turque had produced outstanding wines in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but had not been used for wine production for nearly 50 years. The Guigals acquired the vineyard and re-planted it in 1980 and 1981, based on Etienne Guigal’s memory of the quality of the wines it produced during his tenure at Vidal-Fleury. The first vintage was the magnificent 1985. In both position and style, it sits between La Mouline and La Landonne: the complex soils lend an exotic character to La Turque, and its concentration and elegance exhibit the virility of the Côte Brune with the subtlety and femininity of the Côte Blonde.
The vineyard is around 2.5 acres in size, with a soil type of silicone limestone with schist that produces clay soils rich in iron oxide. Situated just north of the Côte Blonde and into the Côte Brune, La Turque is on a steep slope that enjoys perfect southern exposure and is, in fact, the only vineyard in Côte-Rôtie that directly sees the first rays of sunshine in the morning through dusk.
The site is planted mostly with Syrah in addition to a small percentage of Viognier. The 2014 vintage is 93% Syrah, 7% Viognier.
The wine is punched down, with fermentation and maceration lasting around 4 weeks total in stainless steel vats. 42 months in new oak barrels made at the Chateau d’Ampuis cooperage.
When Marcel Guigal called 2015 “the vintage of a lifetime” and on par with 1929, 1949, 1955 and 1961, the anticipation while Guigal carried out their customary extended aging was almost too much to bear. The vintage was nearly perfect, from vine dormancy right through harvest, and the resulting wines are spellbinding, with an utterly perfect balance of charm, complexity, and power. Replenishing rain in the winter restored the water tables to supply the plants with nutrients, and then abundant sunshine and warmth helped the vines mature the berries to perfection as the generous diurnal shift maintained the acidity and freshness of the fruit.
Enchanting ruby red in color with a powerful, elegant and, dare we say, sexy perfume of red berries, morello cherry and blackberry. On palate we get classic notes of cassis, caramelized berries, spice and even some toasted brioche. There is beautiful harmony between the concentration of the wine and the finesse of fine tannins. This is a magnificent expression of terroir.
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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James Suckling - "The personality of this wine is in full, flamboyant flight in 2015 with such expressive aromas of fragrant spices, roses and violet flowers, orange zest, white pepper, dark stones, exotic baking spices and beautifully ripe blackberries, blood plums and some redder fruit notes. The palate delivers plenty of energy and depth with ripe, dark and juicy tannins, wrapped around a very rich, intense and fleshy blackberry core. Impressive and still just a baby."
Vinous Media - "Saturated purple. Hugely perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, incense, potpourri, smoky bacon and spicecake. Cola, olive and cracked pepper flourishes build with air. Youthfully and broad in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated, sharply defined black/blue fruit, spicecake, vanilla and violet pastille flavors that are brightened by a smoky mineral accent."
Wine Spectator - "Dark plum, boysenberry and fig fruit is steeped with notes of anise, black tea, ganache and roasted apple wood. A warm cast iron spine drives the finish, pulling all the components together. Delivers serious cut and drive, holding a deep well of fruit in reserve."
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