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June 18, 2014

Guigal Cote Rotie Ampuis 2010

Earlier in the year we released the hugely popular Guigal La Las, three of the greatest wines in the world, for £1,825 per case of six bottles. These are the greatest wines of the appellation Cote Rotie and in Robert Parker’s opinion the entire Northern Rhone, he has awarded more 100 points to Guigal’s La Las than any other wines. The La Las are hugely sought after on release and command more than £300 a bottle. Guigal make two other truly remarkable red wines, their Ex Voto, which is grown in appellation Hermitage and releases for £900 per case of six. However, it is Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis that offers the best value for money. In 2009 and 2010 they were awarded 94-96+ and 95+ respectively from Robert Parker, yet remain undervalued at below £50 per bottle, or £560 for a case of 12.

Guigal purchased the famous Chateau d’Ampuis in 1995, an ancient fort built in the 12th Century and transformed it into a Renaissance chateau in the 16th century style. In fact the Chateau (photo below) is cited amongst great Cote Rotie vines and bordered by the Rhone River itself. It has become the headquarters of the Guigal Estate, while the cellars and offices remain in the small village of Ampuis.

What is most interesting it is that around this privileged site the famed La La vineyards’, La Mouline, La Landonne and La Turque herald. Yet, alongside these three world famous single vineyard plots, Guigal owns seven other ancient plots which represent the best terrior of their estate, each touching the vineyards of the La Las. The single vineyards of Le Grande Plantee, Le Clos and Le Garde surround La Mouline; La Pavillon Rouge, Le Moulin and La Pommiere surround La Turque and La Viria sits to the east of La Landonne. The vineyards around La Mouline have an average age of 80 years and contain a significant percentage of Viognier. The vines touching La Turque have a similar age, while La Viria was re-planted in 2000. It is also extraordinary to think there is only 600 metres that separate all of these vineyards.

Pic1

These outstanding single vineyards are vinified and aged separately in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for four weeks and 38 months in a combination of 100% new French Barrique and Foudres. The final Blend of d’Ampuis is 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier and only 2,000 cases are produced each year, roughly equivalent to the La Las taken together.

Guigal Château d’Ampuis currently occupies a very interesting position. Guigal believes it has a similar potential as the La Las, however the market up until five years ago believed it straddled the La Las and Guigal’s Brune et Blonde. Guigal maintain d’Ampuis as an alternative to the La Las, as it is a blend of single vineyards in much the same way as Luciano Sandrone approaches Cannubi Boschis and La Vigne, with the latter being a blend of four vineyards and in fact outscoring Cannubi Boschis in 2010. All this means that Guigal are putting a lot of marketing weight behind d’Ampuis and while the market is quickly realising its quality, it is still the new kid on the block and is priced as such, for now, but not for long.

It is also extremely interesting to note that Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis become much more expensive with age. The equal scoring 2003 and 1999 already trade for over £1,000 per case, as does the 1995, their first vintage, and the 1996, which scored considerably less.

Vintage

RP Score

Price (6×75)

2010

 (94-96+)

£560

2009

 96+

£560

2005

 (94-96)

£675

2003

96

£1,000

1999

95

£1,150

1996

90

£954

1995

92

£1,000

As such we are delighted to be able to offer their new release, the 2010, for £560 per case of 12 bottles, which has the potential to be their greatest ever Chateau d’Ampuis. We can also offer small quantities of their 2009 at the

Guigal Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampius 2010, 12×75 - £550 IB or £674.76 including duty and VAT
Robert Parker - 94-96+ Points
The 2010 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis may turn out to be nearly as dazzling. Wonderful black currant, bacon fat, camphor, incense, licorice, roasted coffee and new saddle leather characteristics are all present in this more tightly-knit, mineral-laced offering. Dense, full-bodied and rich, but not as extravagantly fruity, opulent and flamboyant as the 2009, the 2010 should evolve effortlessly for 20-25 years. Drink 2012 – 2037

Guigal Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampius 2009, 12×75 - £550 IB or £674.76 including duty and VAT
Robert Parker - 95+ Points·        
The spectacular 2009 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis boasts a dense purple color along with abundant aromas of incense, charcoal, lavender, black raspberries, lard/bacon fat, licorice and background toast. This rich, full-bodied, tannic, massive Cote Rotie begs for 2-4 years of bottle age, and should drink well for two decades thereafter. Marcel Guigal believes it is the finest Chateau d’Ampuis made to date (the debut was 1995). Drink 2014-2034

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