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A Trio of Blockbuster Whites from Rhône Legend Guigal - 02/14/2018 - Rhone Valley

We’ve been singing the praises of the 2015 and 2016 vintages in the Rhône Valley for some time now. This attention has largely been focused on the red wines, but as it turns out, the whites are every bit as good, if not better. This rings especially true when it comes to the whites from Guigal - one of the region’s most highly regarded producers. The trio of bottlings featured here are utterly dazzling earning huge points and press from the critics. As the notes below will reveal, these white are open, lush, and expressive making them great candidate for near-term drinking. But given their overall body and structure, it’d be a shame not to lay some down as an impressive evolution is guaranteed. Available via pre-arrival, now is the time to secure market-best pricing. The whites from Guigal always sell at an impressive clip, with the previous vintage of La Doriane becoming a best-seller in its category. Given the pedigree of these estate, the exceptional quality of the vintages, and the super sharp prices, there’s more than enough reasons to go long here.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2015 E. Guigal Hermitage Blanc (Pre-Arrival) 94 $44.99 View
2016 E. Guigal "Lieu Dit" Saint-Joseph Blanc (Pre-Arrival) 95 $44.99 View
2016 E. Guigal "La Doriane" Condrieu (Pre-Arrival) 96 $79.99 View

2015 E. Guigal Hermitage Blanc (Pre-Arrival) ($44.99)

94 points Decanter: "Made from a blend of purchased wines and purchased grapes vinified by Guigal. The same sectors are included each year, mostly on the alluvial soils of the eastern flank of the hill. It has a pretty nose, with some good fruit coming through alongside hints of honeysuckle, marzipan and cashew in a fairly oaky style. It has a very silky palate, rich with generous puppy fat and glycerol, but not huge in fruit concentration. It's a large, plump style, balanced by good freshness and lift. (MW)" (10/2017)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Hermitage Blanc showed beautifully. From a number of lieux-dits (Beaume, Péleat, and Rocoules to name a few) and 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne, it has a crisp, mineral-laced style in its exotic aromas and flavors. With building richness and depth, a stacked mid-palate, and a big finish, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. At this quality level, it should represent a terrific value." (01/2018)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Released just prior to my early November visit, the 2015 Hermitage Blanc features aromas of flamed orange zest (the wine is fermented in second-fill barriques, then ages in them for close to two years). Its full-bodied and rich, with a gorgeous silky texture, but it's also tight and firm, showing significant aging potential. (JC)" (12/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Lovely pithy fruit on the nose, with apricot and peanut flavours on the palate. Long, oak-driven finish gives sweet spices on the length. There's lots of flavour and weight here and a refreshing finish. (RH)" (10/2017)

2016 E. Guigal "Lieu Dit" Saint-Joseph Blanc (Pre-Arrival) ($44.99)

93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A bigger, richer wine, the 2016 Saint Joseph Lieu Dit Saint Joseph Blanc is still in barrel, but it certainly shows lots of potential. Caramelized peach, flower oil, tropical fruits and hints of oak all emerge from this full-bodied, rich, concentrated beauty that stays focused and crisp on the palate." (01/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "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, its 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 firms offerings. The companys 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. (JC)" (12/2017)

93 points Decanter: "50% vinified in new oak, 50% in two year old barriques. It has a very lively, powerful nose of yellow plum, quince and a touch of mango. It's full-bodied, rich and rounded, with a slightly oily texture and good mineral drive leading onto a long finish. The oak influence is strong but the fruit shines through. (MW)" (10/2017)

2016 E. Guigal "La Doriane" Condrieu (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The flagship 2016 Condrieu La Doriane also shows the freshness and more classical style of the vintage. Citrus blossom, crushed rocks, honeysuckle, and orange blossom give way to a medium to full-bodied, incredibly elegant Condrieu that gains depth and richness with time in the glass. It will be better this time next year and keep for 7-8 years." (01/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bottled in June 2017, the 2016 Condrieu la Doriane is entirely barrel-fermented in new oak. This vintage seems more restrained and less rich than some others, but it remains marked by smoky, grilled apricot aromas and flavors. Its nicely balanced and not overly opulent, retaining a sense of elegance on the long, spicy finish. (JC)" (12/2017)

93 points Decanter: "All estate fruit from Côte Chatillon, Colombier, Valon, Coteau de Chery and Veron, which has spent nine months in 100% new oak barrels. It's very much about the cashew oak on the nose, while the palate is very full and fat, flowing and silky, with a mineral hint on the finish. It's long, with a strong oak influence, but the fruit beneath is pristine, though not as concentrated as some vintages. This has guarded enough acidity and freshness to make a successful Condrieu. Opulent, full, flowing and very rich. (MW)" (12/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Spicy oak influence which gives toasty, smoky overlay on the stone fruit. Thick, rich and impressive and the oak and fruit integrate very well. A big step up from their standard Condrieu. 17.5/20 points (RH)" (10/2017)