“This Planet’s Greatest Winemaker”
Robert M. Parker Jr. calls Marcel Guigal “this planet’s greatest winemaker” and this rich and robust 2015 E. Guigal Saint-Joseph—a Cru red of the Northern Rhône—paints a delicious picture of the highly lauded 2015 vintage. Guigal himself has said it is the region’s greatest in 55 years. Jeb Dunnuck’s 92-point review says it all: “Blueberries, black raspberries, ground pepper, crushed rocks, and violet notes all soar from this full-bodied, concentrated, yet seamless and elegant Saint Joseph that shows a wonderful sense of minerality and purity.” As Parker has boasted, “There is no winemaker on planet Earth who has produced so many compelling wines, irrespective of vintage conditions, as Marcel Guigal.” If you missed our offer of the inky Crozes-Hermitage, don’t let this one slip through your fingers. Released at $35, just $29.99 on six bottles or more. Shipping included on 5.
Marcel Guigal’s supernaturally good single-vineyard “La-Las”—“La Landonne,” “La Mouline,” and “La Turque”—have garnered 22 perfect 100-point reviews from Parker since 1990. To put that achievement in perspective, that’s more than Châteaux Petrus, Lafite-Rothschild, Haut-Brion, Mouton-Rothschild, and Margaux—combined!
As you might imagine, Marcel Guigal’s “La-Las” are devilishly hard to come by. Importer allocations are quoted by the bottle, not by the case. If you can locate a single bottle of “La Turque,” “La Mouline,” or “La Landonne” from one of the recognized classic vintages, plan to break out your Platinum card. A bottle can easily set you back $500+.
While dropping five bills on a single bottle of “La-La” sounds all at once fun and terrifying to most financial advisors, consider this brilliant alternative: Another of Guigal’s greatest Rhône Valley bargains hails from the steep hillside vineyards of Saint-Joseph. This 2015 vintage is hitting all the marks, courtesy of an exceptional growing season, and like the Crozes-Hermitage we so excitedly offered previously, it is one of the finest Cru bottlings we’ve tasted from this great legend of the Rhône Valley.
Marcel has publicly declared that “2015 is on the level of 1929, 1947, 1961, adding, “It is surely the vintage of a lifetime. In 55 years, I’ve never seen anything like it.” If that doesn’t get you out of your seat, we don’t know what will. It was an assessment roundly echoed by fellow winemakers and by critics including Jancis Robinson, who advised: “If you have any enthusiasm at all for red Rhône, 2015 is a vintage not to be missed.”
The wine hails from vines that average 20-50 years of age, rooted in two estate vineyards owned by Guigal within this Northern Rhône Cru of Saint-Joseph—Domaine J. L. Grippat (purchased in 2000) and de Vallouit (purchased in 2001). The estate Syrah grapes benefited from abundant winter rains. That precipitation created a water table that replenished berries with moisture and nutrients through a picture-perfect sunny dry season. “The 2015 Saint Joseph is another beauty from this incredible estate and incredible vintage,” says Jeb Dunnuck, who adds “It’s approachable today due to the quality of the fruit, yet has plenty of underlying structure and will age beautifully.”