2017 Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 89
Jeb Dunnuck: 90
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$12.95

NEW VINTAGE AND A FANTASTIC ONE!!

"Apricot, nectarine and green plum notes hold sway here, with flashes of fennel and star fruit on the finish. Ripe and rounded, but stays fresh in feel. Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc. Drink now. 50,000 cases made, 15,000 cases imported. -James Molesworth" (WS)

"The 2017 Cotes du Rhone Blanc includes a majority of Viognier (as usual), supported by 15% to 20% Roussanne and bit of other Rhône varieties. It's a bold mouthful of apricot, pineapple and citrus, with a slightly floral nose. Medium to full-bodied, it's plump and round in the mouth, followed by a fresh, slightly briny finish. Drink it over the next couple of years.

As my visit to Guigal came smack in the middle of harvest, I was only able to do an abbreviated tasting of about 30 wines. Tasting with the father-and-son team of Marcel and Philippe Guigal and joined by recent addition Jacques Desvernois (formerly at Jaboulet), we worked our way through all of the current releases in between sporadic loads of Côte Rôtie grapes arriving at the reception. On one occasion, while Philippe was dealing with a delivery, Marcel grabbed a pipette and we went to take an "unofficial" look at the 2015 La Las. As we only tasted from one barrel of each, I'm not updating my formal reviews from last year but will simply say that each of the barrels we tasted from were potentially perfect. When someone of Marcel's experience says 2015 is the best vintage he's ever seen in the Northern Rhône, would you expect anything different? Of the now-bottled 2014 La Las, Marcel said, "It's not a great year, but it needs time." While not up to the level of the 2015s, they're still impressive, and while they could all use a few years in the cellar, the La Mouline and La Turque are fairly approachable. Guigal's policy of giving their red wines extended élevage means they're often not yet on the market when new-vintage hype strikes. On the other hand, now that many 2015s from the Northern Rhône have already sold through, Guigal is a last chance for consumers to grab hold of some great examples at reasonable prices from Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph, and the Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde. Even the 2015 Côtes du Rhône release is a beauty. As Marcel pointed out, "For us, it's a grand vin, not a simple, fruity wine." New from the 2017 vintage is a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, while notably missing from the lineup is a Hermitage Ex Voto from 2014, as it wasn't deemed worthy and was blended into the regular Hermitage." (WA)

"The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Blanc has lots of Grenache Blanc as well as other permitted varieties. Notes of white flowers, citrus, and honeysuckle all emerge from this medium-bodied, vibrant white that has good acidity and a clean finish. As usual, it over-delivers." (JD)