Friday, 24 February 2012

CUWS L12 - Guigal

A tasting of Guigal wines for Cambridge University Wine Society led by Brett Crittenden. Guigal's UK distributors are Fells Fine Wines. As you can tell from the pictures, very elaborate and artistic bottles / labels; the bottles are on the heavy side but I thought the embossing on them was a classy touch.

2009 Saint-Joseph Blanc

Attractive white fruits, mainly peaches; also rather floral, white flowers, quite sweet, lilies, even acacias; lifted nose. Fresh acidity, textured minerality showing, decent width on the palate; generous but still quite linear. Lots of fruit but it isnt in your face, more mature and muted.

2010 Saint-Joseph Blanc Lieu Dit

Lots of ripe white fruit again, peaches; again sweet floral showing, touch of vanilla; richer, slightly more heady on the nose. Again the mainstay is the minerality and texture; filling mouthfeel, more serious and concentrated, lush ripe fruits; decent but rather low acidity, touch of spice on the finish too. A bigger, fleshier wine but still focused.

2010 Condrieu

Thicker nose, almost waxy; sweet white fruits, almost over ripe / slightly rotten fruits, again minerality; also acacia and floral too; beautiful nose. Nice texture, more forward sweet fruit showing; more opulent, richer, fatter fruit; thicker in texture, low acid, fat and generous. Lingering finish coats the palate.

2010 Condrieu 'La Doriane'

Rich opulent nose; oak its evident, sweet vanilla and butter, honey too; floral elements are lifted, white flowers; behind all that lingers sweet white fruits, ripe apricots and peaches; again bees wax, smells honeyed. On the palate its rich and textured, a lot of fruit; intense flavours, luscious, thick. Huge, powerful stuff; lots of oak but theres a lot of fruit to carry it; again low acid, but isn't at all flabby; slight savoury and spicy touch towards the finish. Structured, luxurious power; a serious wine.

2005 Chateauneuf du Pape

Jammy cooked red fruit; earthy and ferral, touch of garrigue there; also woody notes, licorice; hot almost liquer like too. Lots of fruit, decent extraction but not overdone; fruit dominates, dark cherries and plums, juicy but has a stalky element too. Has settled down, isn't punchy; balance is key here; drink now - 2015.

2006 Saint-Joseph Rouge

Lifted and bright dark fruits, maybe a touch of violets; some cured meat / reductive notes, dried herbs, touch of developed notes; white pepper too. On the palate its fresh and bright, almost crunchy red fruit, good vibrant fresh acidity, feels taut and rather mean actually. This already has some time in bottle and probably will run out of fruit before acidity; drink now.

2005 Cote Rotie 'Brune et Blonde'

Red fruit, some savoury, almost reductive element to this; warmth of spice coming through, a touch volatile on the nose. Fruit is good and fresh, red currants and red cherries, delicate even; lively acidity with decent grip at the end. Feels a bit light and fleeting to me, doesnt have the concentration of fruit?.

2005 Chateau d'Ampuis

Dark fruit, but rather closed; underlying cassis and ripe dark plums, slightly woody and licorice, perhaps even coffee; also a gamey / meaty note and garrigue showing; quite brooding and deep. Extracted but not heavy at all, depth and intensity; lots of fruit, such freshness and fat acidity gives background; lots of dark fruit here, concentrated stuff; grainy tannins at the end, should age a good long while. This spent 38 months in new oak and yet it is barely out of joint, shows how much fruit there was and how it has integrated. Impressive effort; for the long haul, drink now - 2025+.

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