March 20, 2021 - Ninth bottle from a full case purchased at auction in 2011. Opened three hours in advance. In 2017 I opined that this needed a bit of time, and I am happy to report that I was not wrong. Wonderfully fragrant nose, intense and lifted, crushed red berries and black pepper, flowers and slate, supported by smoky oak, hint of forest floor; the palate is elegant and fresh, light in style for Guigal (13% ABV), harmonious and supple, with bright and juicy acidity, mature but youthful for age, creamy texture, resolved tannins; complete finish, good to very good length, hint of cold tea. Fully mature, drink now and over the next few years (before the oak takes over).
February 26, 2021 - Reading the reviews, I was disappointed in the wine. The bottle did not seems inherently flawed, but it lacked brightness and acidity. The classic Syrah flavors were present, but it was too heavy and lacked balance.
January 1, 2021 - room temp was a bit low and it took a while for the wine to open up. After about 30mins, lots of aroma appeared, most notable was the mocha coca aroma which was very nice. Not very spicy tonight. Still young and expect a good many years ahead.
December 22, 2020 - Opened 2 hours. Color is ruby red with hints of orange on the rim. On the nose: Raspberry, Kirsch, cassis, pepper and violets. On the palate: Kirsch, violets, pepper, lavender and blood. Tannins are evident but soft. This wine is in a very good place. I also like the 13% alcohol level.
October 25, 2020 - Soft Tannins, raspberry, dark currants, Tobacco. Very refined. excellent wine. Would recommend 99 points
July 5, 2020 - Colour showing a little age in the ruby but not quite bricking.
Nose immediately has a big hit of smoke followed by rich charcuterie and a little heat (13%)? The palate for the first hour was disappointingly thin and hollow, then some stewed and muted dark berries appeared with a cherry kirsch note. Half an hour later brighter, sweeter blackberry showed up and the nose went from smokey meats to leather. Tannin completely integrated. Short/medium finish.
A decent Syrah but not entirely Cote Rotie like.
Next day similar, add a touch of raspberry/milk chocolate up front and drying red plum skins to the finish. This is like a good Crozes Hermitage.
Very pleasant but poor QPR. Not sure this was ever worth its price, and it's definitely not improving from here.
March 16, 2020 - Deep ruby with some fading on edges. Pronounced nose, with blackberry, dark chocolate, and a slight blue cheese fungal funk. Some tannic structure, and some acid freshness, and white pepper, dark chocolate, mint, paprika, red cherry, blackberry, and some meaty feels. Quite straight-up and actually pretty short
December 14, 2019 - Still in a very good spot - needs a bit of air to smooth out some of the acidity. This clearly still have some life left in it
Comes down with a mixture of some red fruit and a little black fruit - a bit of violet and graphite when first opened. Well integrated finish given some air
February 26, 2019 - Still in good shape, nose offers charred oak, menthol, black plum, charcuterie, pastis. Very rich and dense, mostly resolved tannins but missing lift, so it sits heavy on the palate, without much complexity. This doesnt improve with time, but it remains a fine companion for morcilla, adobo, and rare game. It works there because its thick monochromatic texture is a foil for rich, complex, bloody food flavors.
August 9, 2018 - Oak has largely integrated, but the wine is still quite primary. Enjoyable tonight, room still for improvement with further aging.