2012 E. Guigal "Château d'Ampuis" Côte-Rotie
The nose has a complex array of fine-ground eastern spices, strong cardamom, fine dark chocolate, ripe black cherry and plums. There's even some liquorice. It has a neatly composed and elegant feel on the palate; it really flows long, rippling with spicy flavors and a smooth, dense and creamy finish. Best from 2028 for a decade or more.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A wine that will be in bottle by the time you read this, the 2012 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis (it always incorporates 7% Viognier) will check in behind the sensational 2009 and 2010, but should be on par with the 2005 and 2003. Cassis, licorice, smoked meats, graphite and peppery spice all emerge from this beautifully concentrated, full-bodied, seamless Cote Rotie that has building, ripe tannin, terrific purity and a blockbuster finish. It will have 20-25 years of longevity. 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. (JD)
This is lavishly toasted, with a frame of mocha, ganache and black tea notes, matched to a gorgeous core of raspberry pâte de fruit, blackberry puree and plum sauce flavors. Exhibits a long, alluring, polished feel through the finish. This has a ways to go before opening up. Best from 2018 through 2030
(aged in new oak for 36 months): Opaque ruby. Mineral-tinged aromas of blackberry, cherry liqueur, licorice and violet, plus an exotic Indian spice nuance. At once weighty and energetic, offering sappy black and blue fruit flavors and hints of candied flowers, smoky minerals and spicecake. Smoothly blends power and vivacity, finishing pure, spicy and long, with repeating spiciness and smooth tannins. This bottling is steadily moving closer, quality-wise, to Gilgal's La La wines, but the price has yet to reflect that. (JR)
Much more obviously Syrah than the regular bottling on the nose. Leather and limber. Very much a gymnast with more obvious freshness. (17.5/20 points)