Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc 2016
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.
This wine, produced from hillside fruit, represents the best of the appellation. The Guigals own four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site featuring intense, old-vine fruit. The fruit sourced for this wine comes from two parcels, les Murets (90%), a parcel with alluvial and rocky topoils, and L’Hermite (10%), with a loess and sandy limestone topsoil.
The 2016 expression is 90% Marsanne and 10% Roussanne fruit.
The wine is vinified in and spends 30 months in new oak casks produced by the Guigals at Chateau d’Ampuis. It goes fully through both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel, and is bottled without fining or filtration.
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 Hermitage vineyards were harvested between late September and mid-October. The resulting wines are excellent, with great purity, concentration and balance. Exceptional aging potential.
A brilliant clean, straw yellow. The nose opens with powerful and intense aromas of white flowers, acacia honey, hawthorn blossom. The palate is rich and full-bodied. Fully expressive of the terroir which lends this Hermitage body and strength. Overall, a balanced wine between a delicate and expressive nose and fleshy fruit on the palate underpinned by the powerful 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.
Suggested Retail Price
Jeb Dunnuck - "While no red Ex Voto was made in 2016, the 2016 Hermitage Ex Voto Blanc is brilliant, offering classic, powerful notes of Asian spices, toasted bread, acacia flowers, and crushed rocks as well as tons of quince and stone fruit notes. This beauty is full-bodied, multi-dimensional, and already impossible to resist. It’s going to evolve for 20-25 years or more."
Wine & Spirits - "In 2016, the Guigals had to forgo bottling a red version of Ex Voto, as their syrah parcels were devastated by hail. Their marsanne and roussanne took a hit, too, but enough fruit remained to make this powerhouse Hermitage blanc. It’s a huge wine, filled with juicy fresh fruit as well as plenty of spiced vanilla tones from 30 months spent in new oak barrels coopered at Guigal. It’s also mouthwatering, with a salinity and a nuttiness that highlights the fruit, the way a layer of marzipan and a pinch of salt can bolster the flavor of peaches in a tart. An earthy savor grounds the wine, and offers plenty of room for more complexity to develop with time in the cellar."
Wine Advocate (95+ ) - "Hints of toasted marshmallow appear on the nose of Guigal's 2016 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc, but they're just grace notes accenting deep flavors of ripe peaches and melon. Full-bodied, silky and rich, yet with a deep core of reserved power, this looks to be capable of aging 25 years or so."
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!
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.