Cork is labelled "CHÂTEAU D'AMPUIS". (It's a rock-solid cork, by the way: no more than 1cm of red stain, very firm, and expanded like a Champagne cork when pulled.) Could this really be a bottle of Guigal's Château d'Ampuis (currently selling at Dan Murphy's for $270) accidently labelled Guigal Côtes du Rhône (currently selling at Dan Murphy's for $20, and purchased at action for even less)? Well, probably not, but I can dream. And the wine's almost good enough to make me believe.
The nose is intense, pungent and fruity, with notes of black liquorice, smoked and roasted meat, red fruit and spice (star anise, nutmeg, cumin). The entry presents rich fruit: mixed berries, cherry, plum. Despite the intensity, there's some refreshing juiciness on the finish. There's a hint of barnyard (Brett) on the nose and palate, but it's not a fault; it actually supports the fruit, making it seem more complex, earthy and smoky.
Remarkably, there's still some structure in this wine; there's only a hint of perceptible tannin and moderate acid, but it's enough to give the palate shape and length. This structure is probably the limiting factor determining how long this wine can last (since the intense fruit flavours seem like they'll last forever). Having lasted 19 years, I suppose it'll last a while longer: I wouldn't hesitate to bid on this if it came up for auction again in 5 years. But it probably can't get any better, and if I had any more of these I'd be drinking them as soon as possible.
Professional reviews have copyrights and you can view them here for your personal use only as private content. To view pro reviews you must either subscribe to a pre-integrated publication or manually enter reviews below. Learn more.