2012 E. Guigal "La Mouline" Côte-Rôtie

SKU #1266744 96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Possessing slightly more purity (but maybe not the complexity) than the 2011, the 2012 Cote Rotie la Mouline offers a heavenly perfume of cured meats, pecking duck, violets and cassis. This flows to a full-bodied, seamless, absolutely hedonistic Cote Rotie that has good acidity, ripe, polished tannin and a great finish. Of the three single parcel Cote Roties, it’s the most approachable, but will still drink beautifully for three decades or more. 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... The 2012s should be bottled next year and this is another terrific vintage at this estate, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who follows the estate. (JD)  (12/2015)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This has a brooding feel, with layers of warm tobacco leaf, roasted alder and juniper, and sweet tapenade leading the way, backed by a dense core of macerated plum, black currant and raspberry fruit. The long, smoldering finish shows terrific latent grip. Best from 2018 through 2030.  (7/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 Broad, rich and spicy on the nose. Very substantial weight. Good freshness and not as welcoming as usual -- just a little more austere. I'm sure it will come round and the freshness is no bad thing in 2012. 18/20 points. (JR)  (12/2013)

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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