The Guigal Estate owns vineyards in Condrieu and the Côte-Rôtie with plots which produce some of its most exceptional wines. The Guigal establishment vinifies and ages the wines from the Northern Rhône appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage in its cellars at Ampuis. The methods of viticulture are always in keeping with an omnipresent respect for the environment. From generation to generation, the standards of excellence imposed on the selection and vinification processes have enabled the Guigal estate to present the Guigal Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie as exemplary benchmarks of these two prestigious appellations year after year.
The famous red Vignes de l'Hospice is an undisputed benchmark of quality for the winemakers. It is cultivated on a unique slope composed of granite. The vines are literally suspended on the vertiginous slopes which overlook the town of Tournon. This vineyard is a treasure which produces a precious and rare nectar. The Guigal estate comprises a total of around 60 hectares.
Fruits benefited from being grown on steep vineyards upon rich soil on a granite slope. Wine is 100% Syrah grape, with the average age of vines used being 20 to 80 years old. Further, fruits where fermented in a temperature controlled vat (up to 33°C). Underwent a 30 month ageing process in new oak barrels.
Originating from a geological formation similar to the famous Bessards slopes in Hermitage, this Saint-Joseph has all the finesse of the appellation and the strength of its neighbour across the river. Deep red in complexion. Vignes de l'Hospice has a complex aroma, dominated by black fruit and delicate oak. A pure and intense nose. The wine has strength and powerful, round and elegant tannins.
The impact and influence of the Guigal family across the Rhône Valley, France, and all the world of fine wine is so immense, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that it’s all happened so quickly. In a country with such a rich and deep wine history, the Guigal family’s story is only in its third generation. The remarkable story begins with Etienne Guigal, a remarkably independent and both intellectually and physically capable man. He was the youngest child in his family, but as the most resilient he was sent off on his own at a very young age when his family could no longer afford to care for him. He came to Ampuis, half an hour south of the city of Lyon and the home of Cote-Rotie, to pick apricots. In the early 1930s his brother helped Etienne, still only 14 years of age, secure a job in the vineyards at the largest winery in the Rhône. Etienne started pruning in the vineyards and rose to cellar master over the course of 15 years, before eventually leaving just after the war in 1946 to start his own firm, E. Guigal. Etienne’s son Marcel became involved very early in the business when in 1961 he was forced to rush back from school because his father was suddenly struck with total blindness. Marcel has led the firm since, and his unparalleled work ethic and dedication to quality have lifted the Guigal wines to the pinnacle of the wine world, and the Guigal domaine to its status as the leading winery from the Rhône Valley. In the process Marcel brought attention to Côte-Rôtie and other appellations throughout the Rhône that were in danger of being lost in the annals of wine history, despite the region’s distinguished past of 2,500 years as a superior wine-producing area, and the cradle of wine civilization in France. The Guigal firm is extraordinary in a number of dimensions. Primary amongst them is that they will only purchase vineyards that are capable of producing truly great wines. Therefore despite their important production, they own only 150 acres, all in the Northern Rhône. They own overwhelmingly the finest collection of vineyards in Côte-Rôtie, the finest, carefully selected sites in both Condrieu and Saint Joseph, four exquisite parcels in Hermitage, and some of the finest vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage. These 150 acres are truly the finest collection of vineyards in the Northern Rhône, and serve as the source for their estate-bottled wines and the foundation for their Northern Rhône appellation wines. The more you learn about the Guigal family, the more astounding becomes their story. Their wines are the benchmarks for every Rhône appellation, and over the last thirty years they have become arguably the most lauded producer in the world. Year after year the Guigal family produces wines of exceptional quality that in all classes offer exceptional value.
JOE CZERWINSKI - WINE ADVOCATE
The most impressive vintage of this wine I can recall tasting, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Vignes de l'Hospice is an awesome Saint-Joseph. Visitors to the region can easily spot the steep vineyard just above the town of Tournon when looking across the Rhone from Tain l'Hermitage. Aged in 100% new oak, the wine still shows hints of cedar and vanilla on the nose but also notes of crushed stone and black cherries. It's full-bodied but kept in check by a touch of granite-like austerity that gives the palate shape and length, while the firm tannins glide away in a silky wash on the finish.'
Seductive complexity with plenty of spicy oak played into fragrant, peppery and spicy blackberries. Plenty of smoked meat and graphite, lots of cloves and very powerful, dark plums, blackberries and mocha on the palate. The tannins are superb.'
JANCIS ROBINSON MW
Smoky nose. At the moment a little less glamorous than the Lieu-Dit. More sinewy and classic. Should age well though.' 17 / 20 Points