2008 E. Guigal "Château d'Ampuis" Côte-Rotie

SKU #1095925 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Sexy aromas and flavors of candied red and dark berries and floral pastilles, with a bright, spicy overtone. Juicy and precise, with excellent back-end cut and clarity. Silky tannins come on late add give grip to a long, spice-dominated finish. Very suave wine, and approachable already. (JR)  (4/2013)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 In this difficult vintage, Guigal's Château Ampuis bottling shines. The kinky nose features exotic notes of celery seed, cracked pepper, hickory smoke and mixed berries, while in the mouth the wine shows ample fullness and intensity without losing any of the silky character that makes Côte Rôtie special. Drink now–2020. (JC)  (10/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 This displays nice stuffing for the vintage, with smoky incense leading to the bay leaf, cedar, roasted vanilla bean, black tea and mulled currant fruit core. Lightly taut, showing a slightly grainy edge on the finish, but excellent length and range as well. Best from 2013 through 2022. (JM)  (9/2012)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Shining in the vintage, the 2008 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis (which incorporated grapes from only 5 of the normally used 7 vineyards) offers ample black pepper, cured meats, wood smoke and cassis to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered and finely textured profile on the palate. Possessing good concentration and tannin, it should be consumed over the coming decade. (JD)  (8/2014)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Specific Appellation:

Cote Rotie