Saturday, October 24, 2009

**** $ E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone, 2003, France - Wine Review and Rating

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Original Review, October, 2006: E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone is a potential high-QPR from France. That's a pretty cool concept right there. For the 2003 vintage, the E. Guigal is a composition of 55% syrah, 35% grenache and 10% Mourvèdre and others, utilizing vines primarily about 35 years old. You shouldn't have trouble finding E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone in any vintage. For this one, over 3 million bottles were produced.

Winemaking employed traditional methods, including temperature controlled fermentation and long soaking on the grape skins.

Let's see what's in the glass:

Purple inky shiraz, blackberry and a bit of bramble and "France" on the nose, with smoke and a touch of tar on the palate. Finish, grip tell you this is a real wine. What!? Can that really be the price. Very cool indeed.
Robert Parker said, "Tasting the deep ruby/purple-colored 2003 from several huge tanks revealed it is loaded with fruit and body. This supple, exotic effort should be a knock-out when released early next year."

He gave it 88-90 points. Indeed, I would agree. It IS a knockout, now having been released.

Updated Review, three years later, October, 2009: Oddly enough, I grabbed a second bottle of this three years later - TO THE EXACT DAY - of when I first tried and reviewed it before! I put that in the same category as many of those "amazing coincidences" that mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in your life. The odd thing is that, since I decided on that category of coincidences, I've been having more of them than ever before!! So, maybe they're telling me they do mean something, after all!

Meaningful or not, let's check out this wine... Color is now a medium dusty red, just the tiniest bit of bricking at the edges. Not turned orange yet though, by any means.

The nose shows powerful, deep raisined sweet cologne, with a hint of deep darkness. Yes, some kind of "France" is still there. The palate first touches you as a dusty, dry - but still somehow full - middle. Fruit and sweetness take a back seat. Still powerful, but bright, slightly acidic blackberry now substitute for the tannins and tar of three years ago.

I'd probably go to two stars with a plus for intensity on the Spirit of Wine scale. What this means simply is this: Don't keep E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone for six years past the vintage date!! Drink it sooner. I will from now on.

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