“The three single vineyard Cote Roties [Guigal La Las] are consistently among the world’s greatest wines.” Robert Parker
We are delighted to be able to offer a small parcel of the new release 2010 vintage legendary Guigals; La Mouline, La Landonne and La Turque; a trinity of single estate vineyards that have been collectively coined as the La Las. The La Las are some of the most sought after wines in the world, yet the combined production is a meagre 1,500 cases, making them virtually unobtainable in older vintages. Simply put the wines are the epitome of the northern Rhone!
The 2010 offers a wonderful opportunity and incentive to purchase on release. The 2010s herald from a vintage which Parker’s Rhone taster Jen Dennuck adores: “This is a great vintage that comes close in quality to 2007 in the southern Rhone. Some producers think 2010 eclipses 2007 because of the wines’ vivid freshness and focus”. The 2010s have released at an 11% discount to the 2009s, which like the 2010 scored 98-100 on release. The 2010s price also offers a 24% discount to the 2005s, which scored 96-98 on release and not to guild the lily, the 2010s presently trade at a 37% discount to the 1999s, a vintage awarded 98-100 on release.
This is very compelling indeed, even if the 2010s do not receive 100 points, a bet we are not willing to take. One can expect prices to rise quickly and availability to be scarce and we believe that as an assortment these wines constitute one of the best investments possible in the fine wine market at present, although they can be bought on a case by case basis.
La Mouline 2010, 6×75 – £1,825 IB – 99-100 Parker Points
La Mouline, typically a blend of 11% Viognier and 89% Syrah, is renowned for being the most floral of three top wines. It is made from the oldest vines and is vinified differently to its siblings, using the pumping-over technique, instead of the punching down used by La Turque and immersed cap by La Landonne. These techniques have an affect akin to brewing tea bags. Pumping over recirculates the fermenting juice over the cap without breaking it; punching down recirculates the fermenting juice over the cap thereby breaking it. This has the same effect as leaving a tea bag at the top of the pot, which means the tea is less aromatic and tannic.
Robert Parker 99-100 points, tasted Dec 2013
Scheduled to be bottled in early February of next year (the La Mouline is the first of the single vineyard releases to be bottled), the 2010 Cote Rotie La Mouline is certainly in the same league. More fresh and focused, with heavenly black raspberry, wild flower, underbrush, crushed rock-like minerality and hints of vanilla, it flows onto the palate with a seamless, pure silk texture that carries awesome concentration, ultra-fine tannin and incredible length. It will need more cellar time than the 2009, and have 2-3 decades of prime drinking.
La Landonne 2010, 6×75 – £1,825 IB – 98-100 Parker Points
La Landonne is 100% Syrah and the most tannic of the La Las. It has been produced since the 1978 vintage and the vines are now 35 years old, making it the big brother in terms of style.
Robert Parker 98-100 points, tasted Dec 2013
Scheduled to be bottled in February of 2014, the 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne is a more fresh, pure and focused example of the 2009. While it doesn’t have the over the top exuberance of the prior vintage, it offers incredibly pure, detailed and classic aromas and flavors of black pepper, currants, blackberry, mineral and smoked bacon fat. Full-bodied, layered and deeply concentrated, yet also graceful and seamless, this knockout effort should require a decade to come around and have 3-4 decades of longevity.
La Turque 2010, 6×75 – £1,825 IB – 98-100 Parker Points
La Turque, is typically a blend of 7% Viognier (which is co-fermented) and 93% Syrah. Stylistically it is described as an intermediate between La Landonne and La Mouline. La Turque, like La Mouline, is aged for 42 months in 100% new French oak, it is bottled unfined and unfiltered. The first vintage was in 1985 and comes from the youngest vines, which as Parker points out “puts a kink in the French myth that old vines are always the best.”
Robert Parker 98-100 points, tasted Dec 2013
More fresh and pure, with knockout aromas and flavors of pepper, cassis, spice-box, coffee bean and edgy minerality, the 2010 Cote Rotie La Turque possesses spectacular purity, full-bodied power and a massive finish. Despite the slightly burly profile here, it stays seamless and elegant on the palate, with the overall purity, freshness and concentration of the vintage. Like the 2009, this blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier should start to shine around age 10 and have 3 decades of longevity.
A bit of History
In 1946 Etienne Guigal created the eponymously named wine house E Guigal. He oversaw a renaissance of the great Grand Cru appellation Cote-Rotie, which had been almost abandoned. He built his reputation around two extraordinary Cote-Rotie cuvees, the exquisitely structured La Landonne and the velvety, finessed La Mouline. In 1985 the polished yet boisterous La Turque was introduced, cementing the success of the house. Guigal has received more 100 point ratings for his La Las from Robert Parker than any other wine producer. La Landonne had seven perfect scores from 1985 to 2005, La Mouline nine from 1976 to 2005 and La Turque five from 1985 to 2005. In 2009 all three La Las scored a perfect 100 points.
In 1961 Marcel Guigal, the son of Etienne, took over the Estate and is now considered one of the greatest wine-makers in the world, unequivocally demonstrating that Cote-Rotie must be present in the pantheon of the world’s leading wines.
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