2012 E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2012 E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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A past Wine Access story about 2012 E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape

The highest score ever for Guigal’s CdP and the first bottles to hit American shores.

“This Planet’s Greatest Winemaker” Strides Confidently Into Avignon’s Jewel


The Guigal family’s bulletproof reputation extends further south than most people think. While their global fame rests primarily on the 100-point scores racked up by nearly 20 vintages of their Northern Rhône “La-Las,” their negociant arm reaches all the way down to the town of Avignon, specifically to the storied appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Robert Parker has called Guigal “This Planet’s Greatest Winemaker,” and every sip of their newly-released 2012 offers ample evidence in support of the claim.

If you like Guigal’s black-fruited, smoky Syrahs from their Northern Rhône appellations, your immediate next stop should be this Grenache-based wine from the south. Broader and more generous than their Northern Rhône cellar-mates, the Châteauneuf provides all of the savory intensity of their Syrahs, but in a more approachable package with broader appeal.

For years, the Guigals have insisted on delaying the release of their top wines, both the $700/bottle single-vineyard Côte-Rôties and their stupendous old-vine Châteauneuf-du-Papes. Some producers have voluminous inventories that rely on a churn-and-burn approach for a much-needed cash supply, and others are racked with a constant salvo of new wines being bottled and in need of cellar space. As in years past, Philippe Guigal ignored any such pressures. After three years in oak puncheons and another two years in bottle deep within the family’s frigid cellars, Guigal finally released a small amount of his highest Wine Advocate-rated Châteauneuf-du-Pape ever. Guess who got first dibs?

The 2012 Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape is deep ruby in color, with purple hues, rolling out to a garnet-orange rim. A sumptuous assemblage of mostly old-vine Grenache is rounded out by a rich core of Mourvèdre and Syrah. Enticing aromas featuring a mix of ultra-ripe dark red fruit, Bing cherry, and black olive, tinged with dried rose petals and cherry blossoms. Velvety and plush on entry, a rich display of crushed-red-fruit preserves, candied plum, and dried strawberries washes over the palate, finishing long, with firm tannic backbone buttressed by fresh and vibrant acidity. Drink now-2035.

Parker’s Wine Advocate gushed over a wine they “loved,” emblematic of Guigal’s “incredible quality.” Before pinning on the record 93+ points, The Wine Advocate raved about “this big, downright sexy red” that delivers a “full-bodied, sweetly fruit, layered” package, wrapped with a bow of “terrific purity.”

The first 300 bottles to arrive stateside are earmarked for WineAccess. Eventually, if you find this gem elsewhere, you’ll pay $62 per bottle. But today, for one of the Rhône Valley’s crown jewels of the excellent 2012 vintage — our members get First Dibs. Just $39.99 per bottle. Shipping included on 4.

Expert Ratings and Reviews

93 Points Wine Advocate,
91 Points Wine Advocate, 2013

Customer Ratings

Based on 23 ratings

I should have ordered a case! Excellent bargain

Too early to tell. Has lotential. Needs another 5 years.at least.

About Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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