Saint Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice 2014
Guigal’s Vignes de l’Hospice comes from the vineyard that gives the Saint-Joseph appellation its name, and 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.
This 100% Syrah wine is sourced from an extremely steep vineyard, planted on slopes of granite with vines averaging 20-80 years old. The site was previously separated and owned by Domaines Jean-Louis Grippat and Vallouit. Since acquiring the land, the Guigals have worked tirelessly to preserve the walls of the vineyard and to carry on the history and tradition of this land as a beacon of quality. Through this commitment to quality, this vineyard is the most impressive and exclusive hillside of the appellation.
Guigal vinifies this 100% Syrah wine in the same fashion as their Côte Rôtie crus and Ermitage Ex Voto, in stainless steel temperature controlled vats with traditional pumpovers. The wine is then aged for 30 months in 100% new oak barrels, clarified by racking only, and bottled unfiltered.
2014 is a great example of how the steep granite hillsides of Saint Joseph, and within them the most exception plot, can withstand weather variations to produce wines with ample fruit. There was trying variation of rain and dry weather, but in the end fruit flies were the major issue in the region, causing very low yields. With a calm end of August through most of September, ripening occurred and the wines have fruit, even a generosity, and an openness.
Coming from a geological makeup similar to the famous Bessards hill in Hermitage, this Saint-Joseph has the finesse of its appellation and the power of its neighbor facing the river.
Dark red in color, its intense nose is dominated by black fruits and delicate aromas of new wood. The wine continues to open on the palate, delivering steeped plum, licorice, blackberry and spice notes that continue to linger. The tannins are powerful but remain fine and elegant. A beautiful wine to age for years to come.
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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