Perhaps Robert Parker was hedging his bets when he wrote: “There is no winemaker on planet Earth who has produced so many compelling wines, irrespective of vintage conditions, as Marcel Guigal.” Maybe, in some other yet undiscovered galaxy, Parker got wind of another Frenchman crafting more extraordinary reds than Guigal’s supernatural Northern Rhône Syrahs.
Guigal’s single-vineyard “La-Las” — “La Landonne,” “La Mouline,” and “La Turque” — have garnered 19 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!!
Of course, Marcel Guigal’s “La-Las” are 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 2010 — arguably the greatest vintage in the Northern Rhône since 1990 — bring your Platinum Card. A bottle will set you back $500+.
The 2012 vintage in the Northern Rhône produced stunning, juicy, wildly hedonistic wines of great purity and flash. Not surprisingly, Guigal took full advantage. “La Landonne” earned 97-99 points (the other two “La-Las” came in at 96-98). Parker’s Wine Advocate noted that 2012 was “another terrific vintage at this estate, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who follows the estate,” adding that Guigal continues to “fashion some of the greatest wines in the world.”
For those of us who are on a budget and simply can’t bring ourselves to drop five bills on a single bottle of “La-La,” there’s still hope. Each year, Guigal crafts one of the greatest bargains in the Rhône Valley off the rugged soils of Crozes-Hermitage. This just-released 2012 ranks among the finest Crozes we’ve ever tasted from one of the wine world’s greatest names.
The 2012 Guigal Crozes-Hermitage is brilliant purple to the rim, infused with lavish, mineral aromas of wild raspberry, licorice, dark plum, and sweet spice. Rich, INCREDIBLY juicy, filled with a dense mix of black raspberry, black cherry, and blood orange, finishing with supple tannins, fine tension, and cut. Drink now for its youthful hedonism, or far better, lay down one of the drop-dead bargains of the year for 10-15 years. Like all the great Northern Rhône reds from Guigal, this one’s a keeper.
92 points. $30 on release. $22 today. Shipping included on 6.
nice fruit with a background of northern rhone gravel
Next time i will buy more. Really nails the peppered ham-saddle leather-stewed fruits of the north Rhone. Tastes just like a CH should.
Philippe Guigal and his northern Rhône wines are a joy. If you like syrah. Which I do. We spent an afternoon with him in his Côte Rotie vineyards last year, then toured his huge cellars below Ampuis. Very gracious and so dedicated to terroir. This Crozes-Hemitage of course is not Côte Rotie, but then nothing else is. This well-priced red is full bodied, balanced, beautiful in the glass and was great with some roast pork chops.
A true syrah, with an earthy minerality in the old world style. Pepper and dark berries without any California "fruit". Excellent with char-grilled petit sirloin and grilled eggplant & grilled red bell peppers! Wish I had bought a whole case!
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