2013 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France
The Domaine E. Guigal is a famous producer of wines from the Northern Rhone where the winery is located (in Ampuis).
It’s therefore rather naturally that they produce Crozes-Hermitage wines in both colors: red and white. Both are considered reference wines from the area, showcasing the quality this appellation rather less prestigious than some of the neighboring ones (Hermitage or Cote Rotie) can produce.
This is a 100% Syrah wine, grown on moderately old vines (averaging 35 years of age) on Limestone, clay and silt, and sandy gravels.
The wine was ged for 18 months in French oak barrels.
So how good is this 2013 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
Dark dense color, red on the rim, looking young.
Powerfully spicy nose, you can smell the wine from outside the glass, just as you’re pouring it.
The typical Syrah pepper, and peppermint are exuberant but not overly dominant. They’re surrounded by other more oaky spicy notes of clove, sandal wood, and nutmeg. The truly oaky vanilla, and smoke are there and well present too. On the background only is the fruit: dark cherry, blackberry, and strawberry jam.
An intense and deep toasty nose full of mystery, on the savory side of things.
Putting the wine in my mouth, I was first stroke by the smoothness of the tannins. They’re dense and concentrated, but velvety, if not silky.
Flavorwise, while the berry fruits where shy on the nose, they seem to grasp your palate straight away and never leave from start to finish. Together with a fresh acidity, they drive a mouth-watering fresh fruit sensation bringing tension and clarity.
Mid-to-full-bodied, it never feels heavy yet powerfully flavored and concentrated. Plenty of oaky tones and spices providing complexity. Quite long.
An ABSOLUTELY delightful wine, quite unexpected as well from a Crozes-Hermitage, an appellation that doesn’t always deliver.
Juicy, dense, super-spicy, complex and deep, it has the potential to provide an immense amount of enjoyment. At least it did to me, bringing to me freshness of fruit aromas and acidity, together with silky tannins and depth and toast from delicate oak flavors.
When to drink?
You’ve got the point, it’s delightful now with all its fresh fruit drive. But this will easily age and positively evolve for a solid 5 years probably revealing the underlying meatiness and earthiness in the wine. Can keep for 10 to 15 years if you’re after a more mature wine’s profile.