2001 Guigal: Tension in the Northern Rhone

Posted by CrushWine

Back-Vintage Côte-Rôtie
2001 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis
Baby "La La's" at 50-80% Off

"A qualitative locomotive..."

That’s what Robert Parker has called Marcel Guigal.

Guigal has essentially defined Côte-Rôtie for much of the 20th Century; his Syrahs have a fierce authenticity that is undeniable.

Today, we offer a small parcel of back-vintage Guigal Côte-Rôtie. The 2001 Ampuis comes to the table with a decade of perfect cellaring and is just entering its sweet spot.

The 2001 Northern Rhônes are among our favorites: they have great density and concentration, but also a sinewy, muscular acidity. They have lift.

This is an awesome vintage for purists. Expect the 2001 Ampuis to show seamlessly, with elements of peppery smoked meats, vibrant red and black fruits - cherries, raspberries, even olives - plus a distinct mineral vein running dark and fine through it all. The Tanzer review, below, is worth reading.

We are expecting a rather quick sellout, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested.

The single-vineyard "La La's" - La Landonne, La Mouline and La Turque - are the blue-chip collectibles of Côte-Rôtie, commanding prices in excess of $400-500 a bottle for the current releases. Choice back-vintage bottlings can flirt with four-digit prices.

The Ampuis deserves to be considered in this context. This is not to say it is an equal, it is not. It is different. It tends to see a shorter elévage in wood, which offers the wine an earlier drinking window as well as a bit more energy. The 2001 especially has a great rigor - again the Tanzer review below highlights this, specifically mentioning the Ampuis vis-a-vis the "La La's."

The Château d'Ampuis is sourced from six plots in the Côte Blonde and Côte Brune sections of Côte-Rôtie. In other words it is a blend which can offer the wine a really impressive completeness. Think balance. Guigal first picks with an obsessive eye for perfect ripeness - not overripeness, just perfect ripeness. Then he sorts meticulously, ferments each plot separately and sends them to their own individual barrels for the elévage.

When the Ampuis' individual components finally come together, the result is a multi-faceted, powerfully intense yet fine-tuned Syrah that deftly shows off a well-rounded viewpoint of the vintage.

Not much of this to go around, so please act quickly. Note that this offer is going out only to those of you who have supported our northern Rhône program. Please give us your maximum order so that we may make fair allocations if necessary.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2001 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis

Stephen Tanzer's IWC: "Superripe aromas of pepper, chocolate and menthol. Wonderfully deep flavors of cherries and spice. A very fresh, elegant wine with compelling sweetness but also excellent backbone. Really coats the palate on the very long aftertaste, finishing with strong spiciness and great lift. This makes the Guigal 2000 La-La wines seem almost soft by comparison."