2013 E. Guigal Saint-Joseph Les Vignes de l’Hospice, Rhône, France
This Saint-Joseph AOP wine comes a very unique and steep vineyard on a granite slope just above the village of Saint-Joseph next to the old hospital hence its name.
To get an idea of the topography of this incredible vineyard, just have a look at the label or the aerial photography below!
This is made from 100% Syrah grapes coming from 20 to 80 years old vines yielding relatively low at 36 hl/hectare.
The wine received a long aging in the cellar, maturing for 30 months in new oak wine barrels.
So how good is 2013 E. Guigal Les Vignes de l’Hospice?
Dark red color, brilliant but deep.
The aromas are very intense, spicy and warm welcoming ripe fruit. Lifted spices: pepper, clove and nutmeg surround and deepen notes of ripe prune and dark cherry. It smells juicy, slightly meaty, intense, deep, and quite young. Oaky tones of vanilla and smoke are well integrated.
Mouthfeel benefits from a solid acidity that freshens up the palate and provides tension. Tannins are smooth, but quite granulous and drying on the finish, but perfectly ripe and juicy. There’s an overall ashy feel to the wine, both from the mouthfeel and the smoky ashy aromas, both providing an affirmed and distinctive personality to the wine.
A ripe and warm Syrah wine delivering huge aromatic power in a perfectly controlled and elegant manner. The dense tannic palate is filled with distinctive personality making of this wine a unique expression of the Syrah grape.
It’s ripe and quite oaky in the approach, yet delivers a true sense of the extraordinary vineyard the grapes for this wine came from.
Yes! Definitely, a wine to experience.
When to drink?
The aging potential on such a wine is probably an easy 15 to 20 years to experience how far it can go and keep its freshness (the great acidity should help!).
While it’s sill probably a little too young right now (mid-2016), it should already have developed great complexity and depth combined with plenty of fruit freshness by 2020 to 2026.