Hermitage Blanc 2018
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. 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.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations, but Hermitage Blanc is one of the least-known yet most intriguing wines of the Rhône Valley. Composed primarily of Marsanne (95%) and small amounts of Roussanne (5%), it is relatively rare, accounting for only a small percentage of the production of the 309 acre Hermitage AOC.
This is a rare wine, accounting for only a small percentage of the production of the 309 acre Hermitage AOC. The Marsanne (95%) Roussanne (5%) fruit is harvested from old vines between 30-90 years of age. Various blocks are planted on granite limestone, clay loam and sandy gravel topsoils on the famous granite mother rock, which yields wine of tremendous structure.
Yields are under 2.3 tons per acre, requiring extremely judicious farming.
Temperature controlled fermentation, between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the wine ages for 24 months in second year barrels.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the truly great vintages in the Northern Rhône valley. Following a very wet Spring, Summer was dry and hot – the warmest vintage since 2003.
Harvest was quick and early, and Guigal harvested the white Hermitage on September 12th. Yields were slightly above average, but the fruit was uniformly ripe, and the structure of the Heritage was perfect for the extended élèvage Guigal prefers. The resulting Hermitage Blanc is dense and concentrated, with exceptional length and excellent acidity – perhaps the greatest vintage for this wine since the 1990.
The eye is greeted with a consistent straw yellow wine. A complex nose follows, with dominant floral vegetal notes and acacia honey; overall, elegant and shows notes of the delicate oak. The palate is spic, with good structure demonstrating the ability for ageing. Overall, elegantly balanced and with deep complex aromas characteristic of these rare white wines.
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Advocate - May 14, 2021
"Full-bodied and expansive on the palate, Guigal's 2018 Hermitage Blanc exhibits scents of toasted marshmallow, grilled pear, candied citrus and fennel fronds. Round and mouthfilling, it may be drunk now with considerable pleasure for its weight and sheer lusciousness, but lovers of aged Rhône whites will want to set aside a bottle or two for 10 years or so."
Jeb Dunnuck - November 23, 2020
"Plenty of quince, crushed stone, and white flower notes emerge from the 2018 Hermitage Blanc, a rich, medium to full-bodied white Hermitage. It has a kiss of toasty, nutty notes, but otherwise has completely absorbed its time spent in barrel. Beautifully done, this textured, layered white is going to evolve for two decades or more."
Other Wines by this Producer
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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.
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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.
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