2016 Guigal Saint-Joseph Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph Blanc

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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"Offers alluring verbena, yellow apple and Cavaillon melon aromas and flavors that flow together, with a creamy, polished feel through the shortbread-tinged finish. Delivers a beautiful feel and flow, revealing a hint of opulence. Marsanne and Roussanne. Drink now through 2023. 1,083 cases made. -JM " (WS)

"The 2016 Saint Joseph lieu dit Saint Joseph Blanc includes the old-vine fruit from the former Grippat estate. A blend of 92% Marsanne and 8% Roussanne fermented in 50% new oak and 50% second-fill barriques, it’s ripe and honeyed, marked by aromas of toasted grain, then eases into flavors of toasted marshmallow and orange marmalade before gliding to a long, spicy finish. This medium to full-bodied white looks to have the potential to last up to 10 years in bottle.

Knowing the extensive tasting that was in store for me at this address, I scheduled an entire morning to go through the firm’s offerings. The company’s wines undergo unusually long élevages, which means there are always multiple vintages of each wine to taste. It does provide an ideal snapshot of the various appellations/vintages. For my visit, Philippe Guigal and the winemaking team prepared prospective samples of the wines that were not yet bottled. The big news here is the acquisition of Domaine de Nalys in Châteauneuf du Pape, which immediately becomes a property to watch. Those wines will continue to be reviewed separately as part of the Southern Rhône report." (WA)

"(50% new oak) Bright yellow. Intense, mineral-accented nectarine, pear liqueur, chamomile and honey qualities on the nose, joined by a suave floral topnote that gains strength with aeration. Chewy, concentrated and focused on the palate, offering powerful pear skin, white peach and marzipan flavors that show excellent focus and minerally lift. The mineral nuance carries through an impressively persistent finish that features hints of fresh pear and sweet butter." (VM)

"This has been wedged into shape with a bold serving of oak. Very intense, cedary, chalky aromas with a core of concentrated, ripe, peaches and pears. Slight, resiny edge to the finish. Plenty of fruit and a lot of oak-derived artifice here for now. Try in 2020." (JS)

"I was blown away by the 2016 Saint Joseph Lieu Dit Saint Joseph Blanc, which is up with some of the top vintages of this cuvée. Terrific notes of sautéed white peach, caramelized citrus, brioche and crème brûlée all give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless, impressively balanced white. Coming from the namesake vineyard of the appellation, a south facing, granite hillside south of Tournon, this beauty will keep for over a decade.

The big news at the Guigal estate is the purchase of Domaine de Nalys in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The family has always wanted an estate in the South, and Nalys is an unrealized treasure trove of awesome terroir and old vines, both of which I’ve no doubt will be maximized by this talented family. In addition, the former winemaker at Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Jacques Desvernois, has joined the team, and while it’s not clear exactly what his role will be, I suspect he will largely lead the charge at Domaine de Nalys. Either way, Desvernois is an incredible talent and can only add to what is already a well-oiled machine. As to the wines reviewed in this report, I was able to taste multiple vintages of each of the cuvées and have listed the wines by cuvée as opposed to by vintage, which is how we tasted through the wines."(JD) Winery Notes:
Straw yellow with golden tints.

Very complex with oaky floral notes.Hazlenuts and yellow fruit.

Very full-bodied attack. Fleshy fruit and round palate.

A balanced palate with complex aromas and a roundness which is very characteristic of this Saint-Joseph which comes from the best terroirs of the appellation.

Our comment:
This wine is a unique expression of the excellence of the lieu-dit Saint-Joseph appellation and these vineyards are from amongst the very best of this up-and-coming appellation in the northern Côtes-du-Rhône. These very slopes lent their name to the Saint-Joseph appellation when it was created. The label was designed by Roger PFUND, a Franco-Swiss artist who is a specialist in the design of bank notes.