Every summer, we used to drive from home in Burgundy to the South of France and doing so, the only direct route was crossing the Rhone Valley from A to Z. As soon as you enter the valley, the scenery was mesmerizing. Miles and miles of vineyards with world famous names and prestigious wine makers. The vineyards are hanging on the stiff hill sides of the valley, just one or two rows of vines for each step meticulously crafted over the centuries. In the North, it is bold red Syrah and aromatic white Viognier. In the South, it’s red and rosé blends of up to 21 varieties, led by Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Whites, led by Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. Côtes du Rhône is among the oldest vineyard regions on the planet. Greeks, Romans and Medieval Popes liked the native-grape rocky soil tastes.
It is customary to have the name of the wine producer painted on a stone wall in the middle of the vineyard, highly visible from the main road now a highway. E Guigal formally Etablissements Guigal is one of those names with a world-famous reputation.
Guigal was established in 1946 by Étienne Guigal in the northern part of the valley, and during the years bought and absorbed other wineries with vineyard holdings in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.
And lucky for us, we have on our shelves a terrific 2016 Saint Joseph.
The 30-mile-long district of Saint Joseph, along the Western bank of the Rhône, extends from the southern part of Condrieu. The wines can share some of the same smoldering black fruit and spice character as their neighbors across the river in Hermitage.
Guigal’s vineyards are among the best in the appellation and situated on hillsides with complex soils of decomposed granite with limestone and sandy granite topsoils that produce spicy and structured wines of 100% Syrah.
Fermentation in stainless still, left to rise to high temperature;
Aging 24 months in second use oak barrels.
James Suckling – “A wildly herbal and spicy, exotic style with aromas and flavors of red plums and cherries, as well as aged meat. Grainy, elegant tannins. Drink or hold.”
For me it is just a dam good wine, full elegant spicy with a velvety touch and a lingering finish.
One of my favs
Jean Rene Duras
Beverage Sales Manager, Max’s Wine Dive, San Antonio