2007 Guigal Gigondas

Year: 2007
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 92-94
Vinous Media: 89
Red Wine
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"Perfumed, with nicely integrated grip that focuses the lovely mulled plum, black currant, licorice snap and black tea notes. The long, silky finish features a lingering hint of iron. Drink now through 2014. 9,000 cases made." (WS)

"The best Gigondas from Guigal that I have ever tasted will certainly be the 2007, which is still aging in tank and large wood vats. His general blend here is about 55-60% Grenache, around one-third Mourvedre and the rest Syrah. This remarkable Gigondas is scheduled to be bottled within the next several months. Dense plum/purple, with notes of garrigue, crushed rock, blueberry, and black raspberries, the wine is full-bodied, with stunning purity, a multi-layered texture, and a long finish. It should drink nicely for 10-15+ years.

While the Guigal name is synonymous with extraordinary wines from Cote Rotie, Condrieu, Hermitage, St.-Joseph, and Crozes-Hermitage, the Guigal family have always had a love affair with the southern Rhone, especially Chateauneuf du Pape. I expect them to buy an estate in that appellation, but in the meantime they continue to pay top dollar for some of the best juice to fashion their negociant cuvees. The quality of these wines continues to go up, which is remarkable given Guigal's fame in addition to the gigantic production of his red Cotes du Rhone, which has now hit 3.5 million bottles with the 2007 - the best he has ever made. For starters, some whites and roses from Guigal merit serious attention. Everywhere in the southern Rhone, the rise in quality of white wines has been dramatic over the last decade or so, but Guigal, being a negociant, has really ratcheted up the level of his basic cuvees. In 2008, there was no Cotes du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, or Gigondas produced. Given the long wood and tank aging of their top southern wines from Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape, I have included notes on wines that are just being released, such as the 2007, as well as the most recent release, the 2006s. These wines prove the brilliance of Guigal's elevage. Most people know that his single vineyard Cote Roties and his Hermitage Ex-Voto are kept for 42 months in new oak, an astonishingly long time that is now being emulated by some of the great Rhone Ranger producers such as John Alban at Alban Vineyards, Justin Smith at Saxum and Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non. As I have told Marcel Guigal during nearly every one of my visits to his estate over the past 30+ years, he should give lectures in oenology schools on the genius behind the upbringing (elevage) of his wines. It is remarkable. Time and time again I have seen light vintages that seem vegetal and disappointing become concentrated and taste far better through extended elevage. And most significantly, Guigal's wines always taste better in bottle than they do tasting from barrel!" (WA)

"($33) Ruby-red. Musky, complex aromas of raspberry preserves, smoked meat, rose oil and smoky herbs. Dense and fleshy, offering fully ripe red fruit flavors and an exotic note of candied flowers. Quite dense in the style of the vintage, with ripe red fruits clinging on the finish. (Vintus, Pleasantville NY)" (IWC)