STILL A WINNER!
"This has a mature edge, with sandalwood and singed alder notes emerging from the core of lightly steeped cherry and raspberry fruit. Light dried anise details drape over the finish. The sandalwood edge lingers longest. Drink now. 60,000 cases imported.
"A wine that should be on the market by the time you read this, the 2012 Cotes du Rhone from Guigal is a smokin’ value that offers classic southern Rhone notes of peppery herbs, smoked earth and almost chocolatey dark fruits. Medium plus-bodied, concentrated, with both fine tannin and bright acidity, it will deliver the good for at least 5-7 years.
One of the highlight tastings during my two weeks spent working in the northern Rhône was with Philippe and Marcel Guigal, who in this critic’s opinion, consistently fashion some of the greatest wines in the world. Looking at the 2011 Côte Rôties, which were bottled earlier this year, these are gorgeous wines that show the perfumed, sexy nature of the vintage; yet, they have more density, concentration and depth than just about every other wine from the vintage. Marcel characterized the vintage as charming and elegant, and while they’re insanely good even today, they’ll evolve gracefully and have broad drink windows. The 2012s should be bottled next year and this is another terrific vintage at this estate, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who follows the estate. The wines are already expressive, yet have more fat and texture than the 2011s, although maybe not the same level of focus or length. I suspect this is another vintage that will show nicely on release next year and age gracefully, with broad drink windows. The 2013s, in contrast, are inky, masculine, structured and not very much fun to taste at the moment. The extended elevage will help, but these will certainly be longer term prospects that will demand cellaring." (WA)
"Deep ruby. Spice-and smoke-accented cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied violet and cracked pepper. Spicy, energetic and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that open up slowly with air. Distinctly northern Rhône in personality and texture, featuring a peppery, floral-dominated finish, smooth tannins and excellent closing thrust and persistence. The quality of this bottling consistently outpaces its price and appellation, and that's especially true in this vintage." (VM)