King of the Rhone - E. Guigal


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Many wine lovers claimed the first bottle of the Côtes du Rhône wine they grabbed were wines by E. Guigal. This is not surprising as E. Guigal produces over six million bottles every year and exports half of them to other countries around the world.

 

Not only one of the largest winery in Côtes du Rhône, E. Guigal is also the finest. Wine Advocate’s critic Robert Parker said he’s never seen a producer so fanatical about quality as Marcel Guigal, the second generation of E. Guigal. He’s also crowned Decanter Man of the Year in 2006 for his great effort to the development of the Rhône region. Their signature Côte-Rôtie wines have received fantastic 100-point Robert Parker scores for multiple vintages.

 

Indeed, this “King of the Rhone” demonstrates the perfect mastery of skills on the care of its vines, the ecosystem of the soil, the wine ageing and blending, and even the barrel making. These are consistent with their motto carved on the headquarter’s Renaissance-style Chateau d’Ampuis, “Nul bien sans peine” which means “no good without pain”.

 

Though Guigal family is headquartered in Côte-Rôtie, the domain makes wines of the most famous appellations along Rhone River spanning from Lyon towards the Mediterranean Sea. Discover the pleasure of drinking Rhone wines if you truly love compelling and easy-drinking bottles of good values that could be enjoyed on release.

Let’s start with the Northern Rhone. If you’ve got a chance to visit the Northern Rhone, you might wonder why the French grows vines on the terraced hillside vineyard and struggles to harvest on the slopes at frightening gradients. It’s all because the Rhone grapes have to soak up the essence of the soil and the sunshine of the South to give the best flavours. Hermitage is one of the most famous appellations in the Northern Rhone or in France. E. Guigal Hermitage Rouge 2012/ 2013 is bold and structured Syrah, with notes of blackberry fruit, chocolate and rocks. Could be enjoyed now or aged up to a decade. If you’re a rookie, go for E. Guigal Croze-Hermitage 2014/2015 which is lighter and fresher in flavour, and grown on the flatter sites, full of typical peppery and spicy notes of Syrah.

E. Guigal single-vineyard wines are some of the most sought-after bottles. E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane 2017 is awarded 97 points by Jeb Dunnuck, a wine critic with a focus on Southern French wines, and he said this all-Viognier wine got stunning notes of buttered peach, creme brûlée and white flowers. In case you fall for this grape, the Viognier-dominant E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2015/2016 is a good selection as your everyday wine.

Moving to the Southern Rhone, it’s time to taste the most coveted and regal E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2013. The reason for its overwhelming popularity is definitely its richness and complexity in flavours with distinctive flashes of redolent herb and hazelnut notes, which mainly comes from the rich variety of grapes from the South. In the meanwhile, white Chateauneuf-du-Pape is getting increasingly welcomed. So don’t miss E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2017 for its perfect ripeness, full-body and succulent peach flavour. Definitely a sexy wine.

Compared to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the neighbouring E. Guigal Gigondas 2014 boasts a more rustic wine style with luscious fruit and spice. It tastes similarly full-bodied and elegant with hints of apricot and liquorice.