E. Guigal's Cote-Rotie "La Turque" 1991
The firm E. Guigal, located at Ampuis, the village of the Cote Rotie vineyards, was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal, who had apprenticed at the old firm of Vidal Fleury starting in 1924. Etienneıs son Marcel has been wine maker and director since 1962. Marcel has carried on the tradition of the Rhone regions modernize in was that improve, but do not change, the traditional style. In the northern Rhone, traditional wines are vinified with a long maceration with skins and stems, and after pressing are aged in oak casks, large and small, for several years. Traditionally, the wines are racked, but neither fined nor filtered. The maturation and clarification are slow.
Guigal's red wines are aged 3 or 4 years in oak before bottling, and hence for sale 1 to 3 years older than most Rhone wines sold today. They tend to be deep in color, strong in flavor, and often rich in alcohol. His vinification in closed vats does not allow the escape of alcohol during the fermentation. With this method and these grapes, chaptalization of the must is not frequently necessary.
The Guigal wines, solely from the traditional Rhone Valley appelations, include the following (from north to south): Cote-Rotie, Condrieu, Hermitagne Rouge and Blanc, Cote du Ghone Rouge, Rose and Blanc, Tavel Gigondas, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. He produces three single-vineyard wines from Cote-Rotie: La Moulline (Cote Blonde), La Landonne (Cote Brune) and La Turque (Cote Brune). The single vineyards wines, the ³crus², produced by Guigal, have become quite likely the most sought after wines in the world. There are only about 1,500 cases and they have become virtually unobtainable. The 1995 overall production of Guigal is about 200.000 cases, of which about 20,000 is Cote-Rotie, about 5,000 Hermitage, a sizable quantity of Cotes du Rhone Rouge, a growing amount of Blanc, and several thousand cases of Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Condrieu fluctuates with the vintage, but is always a scarce and sought after wine. The singe vineyard wines range from 300 to 700 cases each.
Robert Parker, noted wine reviewer, almost rhetorically, asks, "How does this planetıs greatest wine maker continue to turn out profound wines year after year? A notorious late harvest, low yield, plus Guigalıs own philosophy that the wine makerıs role should be minimal."
"Guigalıs single vine and Cote-Roties are exceptional. They offer extraordinary flavor, intensity, impeccable purity, and awesome length and complexity. Yields from the three vineyard -La Mouline, La Landonne and La Turque- rarely exceed two tons per acre. No one harvests any later. That the wines spend dearly 3 1/2 years in 100% new oak Tells you something about the level of extraction Guigal is able to achieve.. all the more structure and complexity, phenomenal concentration and marvelous perfumes."
"La Turque is.. a synthesis of La Mouline and La Landonne. It is a wine of enormous richness and character, but.. it can be drunk young and at the same time support 20-25 years of longevity. It also exhibits smoky, black raspberry aromas.. but more expansive,..sweeter. An impressively endowed. majestic wine. La Turque may be the most enthralling and complex of the single-vineyards Cote_Roties. La Turque spends 42 months in new small oak casks and is bottled without fining of filtration. Guigal harvested his tiny vineyard (400 cases produced) on October `15, making these the last grapes to be picked in the northern Rhone. Nearly black in color, with a huge perfume of violets, sweet black fruits, toasty oak, and minerals, the wine possesses an unforgettable level of extraction. It exhibits layer upon layer of flavor and complexity. Acidity is low and the tannins are soft. The 1991 La Turque appears to be a perfect wine in the making."
Parkers Wine Buyer's Guide 3rd edition.
Mr. Parker's comments shall not be construed as an endorsement of Klein's Designs or any of its products. Mr. Parker has not given his permission to Klein's Designs for the use of his writings. S.K.
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