Saint Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice 2017
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.
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.
Following the classic 2016 vintage, 2017 in the Northern Rhône was a year of contrasts and challenges. Following a very dry winter, spring was wet with hail and frost in some areas, reducing the crop considerably. Summer was characterized by periods of extreme drought and excessive heat, which continued through the fall, interrupted by some needed rain in early September. The crop in Saint-Joseph was about 15% smaller than usual. However, the fruit was clean and extremely concentrated, with rich but round tannins, producing dense wines of balance and ripeness.
A deep red in color, the nose is presented with complex aromas that are dominated by black fruit and delicate oak sensations. Overall, the nose is pure and intense. The palate transitions with a powerful attack of round and elegant tannins.
Originating from a geological formation similar to the famous Bessards slopes in Hermitage, this Saint-Joseph has all the finess of the appellation and the strength of its neighbour accross the river.
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
Wine Advocate - "Marked by scents of tar and black olives, cedar and clove, blackberries and cassis, the 2017 Saint-Joseph Vignes de l'Hospice is the most complex, structured and age worthy of the three Saint-Joseph cuvées. The puppy fat and jamminess that were present earlier in its élevage are largely gone, and while the wine is medium to full-bodied, it's also reserved and elegant, with shadings of crushed stone and fine-grained tannins defining the palate and lingering on the finish."
Wine & Spirits Magazine - "The Guigals never intended to buy land in St-Joseph, until they saw the parcels that Jean-Louis Grippat was offering them upon his retirement: The vines in Vignes de l’Hospice occupy a vertiginously steep slope right behind the town of Tournon, the scrabbly, granite-based soil held in place by a series of terraces. They vinify this wine as they do their Côte-Rôties, in stainless-steel tanks, followed by 30 months in new barrels they cooper on site. The wood takes prominence at first, adding an extravagant amount of smoky, toasty caramel and spice to the aroma. But the fruit comes up with air, concentrated and powerful, with a saline minerality that keeps it lifted and mouthwatering. This is built for the long term."
Wine Spectator - "A polished and toasty style, with vanilla bean and signed mesquite accents draped over a core of very substantial dark cherry and plum fruit. Fruitcake and licorice frame the finish, with a buried iron note to keep it honest. Really packed throughout."
Jeb Dunnuck - "I loved the 2017 Saint Joseph Vignes De L'Hospice from barrel and it doesn't disappoint from bottle. Revealing a deep ruby/plum color as well as spicy, exotic notes of crème de cassis, toasted spice, incense, barbecue smoke, and acacia flowers, this beauty has subtle background oak, full-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and a great finish."
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.
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.
One of the three “LaLa” wines that Guigal produces and are the most collectible wines of the Rhone Valley, La Landonne is a remarkable expression of terroir. And for good reason, 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. The first vintage Guigal produced was in 1978, after being planted in 1975 at the time of Philippe Guigal’s birth.
Of the three famous single-vineyard “LaLas” that Guigal produces and are the most collectible wines of the Rhone Valley, La Turque is the newest. This vineyard produced outstanding wines in the first half of the 20th century, but then was not 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 once produced. The first vintage appeared in 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.
First planted by the Romans 2,500 years ago, La Mouline is the oldest and most famous vineyard of Cote-Rotie, and Guigal’s single vineyard bottling of La Mouline in the 1960s set off a quality revolution throughout the Rhone Valley. The stunning amphitheater is the most complex plot in Cote-Rotie due to its extremely steep slopes with expositions in every direction. Of the three famous “LaLas” that Guigal produces and are the most collectible wines of the Rhone Valley, La Mouline was the first and is the only one on the Cote Blonde, and its signature is an unbelievable exoticism, an irresistibly and unique lifted floral, black fruit, earthy, spicy perfume, its coiled power always in balance, seemingly endless.