1985 E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline

SKU #1388841 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the all-time great La Moulines, this still youthful and unevolved wine does not have the tannic ferocity of the 1988, or the sheer force and intensity of the 1978, 1976, and 1969, but it represents the epitome of this single-vineyard wine. Everything fits perfectly in this full-bodied, black/purple-colored wine that reveals no garnet or amber at the edge of its color. The nose offers up a formidable array of overripe black raspberries and cherries intertwined with scents of cedar, chocolate, olives, and toast. Extremely full-bodied, with an unctuosity and opulence that must be tasted to be believed, this velvety-textured wine's finish lasts for over a minute. It is one of the most concentrated but profoundly endowed and well-balanced wines I have ever tasted. Like so many of the wines Guigal has produced from this vineyard, no matter how hard one tries to articulate its glories, words are simply inadequate. (RP)  (12/1996)

97 points Vinous

 A collection of stunning older northern Rhônes puts a strong exclamation point on this night of fabulous food, wine and conversation. The 1985 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline has far better balance. One of the wines of the night, the Mouline is dark, sensual and breathtakingly beautiful. Layers of dark fruit intermingled with scents of tobacco, licorice, plum, black cherry and incense blossom into the voluptuous, exotic finish. At thirty years of age, the 1985 is a real stunner. (AG)  (12/2015)

97 points Wine Spectator

 Vivid, concentrated and complete, this gorgeous wine is rich with kirsch, floral, vanilla and raspberry flavors that go on forever. Lovely now, but better after 2000. (TM)  (11/1995)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep, bright red. Sauvage, wonderfully complex aromas of raspberry, underbrush, truffle, gunflint and pepper; a real perfume of the earth. Huge and sweet, with a slightly roasted, liqueur-like character and great intensity of still-youthful dark berry flavor. This has amazing backbone and grip for a 17-year-old Cote-Rotie. Sappy, very long finish combines classic syrah pepper and hints of superripeness. Should go on for many years more. (ST)  (9/2004)

Jancis Robinson

 Quite deep. Definitely the youngest looking of the Guigal 1985s. Sweet, full, animal nose. Lovely lift. Great mouthful. Very, very powerful and complete. Great first-growth-like effect all over the palate. (JR) 20/20 points  (3/1998)

K&L Notes

Indicative blend: 89% Syrah and 11% Viognier. From Cote Blonde.


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Price: $1,449.99

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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.
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.
Specific Appellation:

Cote Rotie