Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2017, Rhône Valley, France

The Côtes du Rhône appellation applies to red, white and rose wines from vineyards throughout the Rhône Valley, comprising about 90% of the total production of the region. Quality and style can vary widely. By selecting and blending cuvées form over 40 top growers, the Guigals produce exceptional examples of all 3 wines. Their Côtes du Rhône Rouge, in particular, sets the standard for the appellation. Since the 1998 vintage, the wine has been based on Syrah, a Northern Rhone approach to a wine that is almost always Grenache-based. The 2017 is made up of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre. It is consistent from vintage to vintage, and deceptively age-worthy. Ages a minimum of 2 full years before release, almost unheard of in the Rhône. This process results in a wine of unusual complexity, with a substantial and generous palate. After a long maceration and fermentation, aging takes place in oak foudres for 18 months. Tasting: Eye: Deep and dark red. Shiny. Nose: Fresh fruits with red berries and spices. Palate: Full, rouind and racy. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine.