If you don’t love Guigal, your heart is made of stone and your nose is made of rubber – I don’t know why but that’s the best I could come up with. Long reputed to be one of the great Rhône producers, Guigal has the distinction of receiving more 100-point wine awards by Robert Parker than any other winery. I’m no RP groupie but I’ll admit that this further fueled my already healthy enthusiasm for Guigal.
I had a Saint-Joseph 2009 the other day – it is one of the 8 cru vineyards in northern Rhône. For the uninitiated, northern Rhône is the birthplace of Syrah and most wines made there are either 100% Syrah or 90% Syrah blended with no more than 10% of the white grapes Marsanne and/or Roussanne. This particular Saint-Joseph had a beautiful nose of plums, black cherries, candied strawberry jam and an enticing trail of spice. Gave it a few minutes and the nose took an earthy turn. On the palate, it was well-structured with nicely round tannins. This was one delicious Rhône wine – great to drink now or safely stash away for many more years, if you could wait. I couldn’t. Obviously.