Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

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Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

Postby Jenise » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:02 pm

I discovered Guigal's CdR with the '90 vintage and really fell in love with it over the '91 vintage. It was the first wine that became a year in, year out case purchase for me and that lastest most of the way through the 90's, skipping only 97 and buying a lot of 98. Not all vintages were equal, but all were good and with enough of them I could dispense with the more fragile ones earlier in their lives and hold the more robust vintages for later. I recall how often I'd go into the cellar with some big wine on my mind and come back with one of those Guigals instead--warm, earthy, and you could pair it with anything.

I skipped the 2000 but picked up where I left off with the 2001. As before I didn't pretaste or wait for reviews, I just bought a case. They'd never let me down before, and 2001 was a splendid vintage, right?

Right, but the 2001s suck anyway. The 01 which bears no resemblance to past vintages. It is inky purple-black in color and tannic, and has zero flavor of grenache. No red berries, no warm earth. Two bottles so far a year or so apart were identical and not enjoyable to drink.

I was reminded of this by a post by a Vancouver friend about an '83 which he recently enjoyed. It was still chugging along, quite acceptable and possibly even very good. Certainly very good for a wine of it's caliber and age. Now I know many who enjoyed the Guigals in the 80's and claimed the 90's were so much lesser. I don't know that difference, only that the 90's were great little wines for about $8.

What I don't know is if the 2001 ushered in yet another new decade of change in Guigal wine or if the vintage was just a one-off sucky vintage. The wines used to get mentioned frequently by fans new and old, but I haven't seen tasting note one on 02, 03 or 04, nor have I even seen the newer vintages in stores. It's like it disappeared from the planet.

So I wonder what's happened to it recently. Can anyone shed any light?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:51 pm

Only really hearsay/general comments that Guigal (at least at the lower levels) has been on the slide for a few years, maybe even the last decade.
Maybe a taste-before-you-buy-again wine now?
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Re: Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:13 pm

I didn't care for the 2001 either. But I actually thought the 2003 -certainly not a vintage I expected to care for- wasn't bad (with surprisingly good acidity). Not enough excitement to go looking for, but not bad.

My guess is that over the last 15 years as more and more quality oriented growers in the Rhone are finding a market for their own wines, there's just not enough good juice for the big negociants.
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Re: Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:22 pm

The last CdR from Guigal that I had was also the '01, Jenise. I found it just blah and simple. Haven't been back since.
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Re: Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:54 pm

Isn't this the wine they now force retailers to purchase in order to have access to the LaLas?
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Re: Any recent experience with Guigal Cotes du Rhones?

Postby Hoke » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:21 pm

I think your other respondents said sooth.

I beleive it's a combination of two things:

1. The Guigal CdR, once remarkable, has fallen to being simply ordinary. A pretty good ordinary, but still ordinary. Market forces, and all that.

2. You have also changed though, my dear. You are much more sophisticated and perceptive in your palate than you were years ago, and have gone through some ch-ch-ch-changes over the years. Not least of them the wines you appreciate most.

Combine the two and I think you'll have the reason for your not caring so much for the Guigal CdR anymore.

(FYI, the Rose used to pretty awesome too, and isn't anymore. Not even close.)

The other two wines I put in the same general camp as the Guigal CdR (once excellent, now not what they were) are the Jaboulet Parallel and the La Vielle Ferme. Of the three, I sort of think the La Vielle Ferme is the closest to what it used to be. The Jaboulet sure isn't.
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