E. Guigal - Côte-Rôtie La Mouline 1998 (750ml)

 
WA
97
V
95+
VM
95

Price: $562.00

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Producer E. Guigal
Country France
Region Rhone Valley
Subregion Cote Rotie
Varietal Rhone Blend
Vintage 1998
Sku 5895
Size 750ml

Wine Advocate: 97 Points

The awesome 1998 Cote Rotie La Mouline is a seamless full-bodied classic with many characteristics of the 1997 La Landonne but more structure tannin and muscle. It will need two years of cellaring and will last for twenty years. Stylistically it is reminiscent of the 1988. These tasting notes will not surprise any longtime readers. I have never made a secret of the fact that if I had only one wine left to drink I would want it to be one of the great vintages of Guigal's Cote Rotie La Mouline. This wine's aromatic fireworks sumptuous texture and seamless personality represent perfection. While the percentage of Viognier blended with Syrah can vary from 8-12% (even higher in a vintage such as 1996) this remains one of the world's most intensely perfumed and compelling wines. Every vintage has its share of bacon fat toast cassis acacia flower black raspberry creme de cassis and tapenade notes. A voluptuous texture sweet tannin and a satiny smooth demeanor are hallmarks of La Mouline whether it's a difficult (1974) or great vintage (1999). As it ages aromas of violets and peaches also emerge. All of the "La La" offerings (as Guigal's fans call them) are aged 42 months in 100% new Francois Freres barrels experience minimal racking as well as sulphur and are bottled with neither fining nor filtration. While critics call them branded wines they always emerge from the same vineyard parcels. In response to the criticism that they are oaky virtually no new wood can be detected in the wines after 6-8 years of cellaring.

Vinous Media: 95 Points

Saturated ruby-red. Sappy raspberry, redcurrant, plum and spices on the nose, lifted by an exotic floral/apricotty viognier note and complicated by woodsmoke, pepper and mint. Penetrating and very tightly wound, with brisk acidity giving this extremely young wine almost painful intensity. A saline, sappy quality and a hint of green pepper underscore the extreme youth of this highly promising wine. This certainly calls for at least a decade of additional aging.

- By Stephen Tanzer on September 2004

Guigal's La Mouline, arguably the single greatest example of Côte-Rôtie and unquestionably one of the three or four finest syrah-based wines in the world, is actually a marque, or a trademark. Technically, La Mouline is part of the Côte Blonde hillside, at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation above the town of Ampuis. But La Mouline is also a specific site—a one-hectare vineyard, probably the oldest in Côte-Rôtie, with an average vine age of about 80 years.x000D The earliest vines in La Mouline date back to 1893, when planting in Côte-Rôtie started up again after phylloxera. The Guigals planted some additional vines, including a good bit of viognier, after they purchased the Mouline parcel from the Dervieux family in the early 1960s (Marcel had just joined his father Etienne in 1961 and was soon to become the locomotive of the Côte-Rôtie appellation). At that time, there were still some cherry trees in the vineyard.x000D x000D The syrah here is all petit sérine, the small-berried old syrah that produces extraordinary creaminess and flavor intensity while normally avoiding hard tannins. This is an important advantage, because so many of today's Côte-Rôties are from clonal selections that produce larger grapes, with less structure and concentration of fruit. The vineyard is co-planted with 11% viognier, a very high percentage for a modern-day Côte-Rôtie. When vines die, the Guigals replace them with the same variety to maintain a constant ratio of syrah to viognier. The soil of La Mouline is light, shallow, fast-draining limestone, mica and flint, plus a lot of calcareous silt and clay (essentially windblown dust), all underlaid by huge rocks. La Mouline is a very dry site: drought is more of a threat to the vines than excessive moisture.x000D La Mouline may be the most perfect amphitheater vineyard in the Côte-Rôtie appellation, with an exposition from full south to southeast. Wines have been made from this site for 2,400 years. It's a true heat trap: according to Philippe Guigal, Marcel's son, the sun heats the rocks, and the rocks radiate the heat toward the inside of the vineyard. So even at three o'clock in the morning in August, according to Philippe, the temperature amidst these vines can be 80 degrees. The vineyard is planted to a dense 10,000 vines per hectare. There are numerous very small terraces, some holding just a few vines, and some of the original walls still exist.x000D Once the Guigals decide the moment is right to pick, the grapes in La Mouline can be harvested in half a day. Prior to 1993, Guigal did not even own a destemmer. Since then, the Guigals may destem their fruit completely or not at all, depending on how ripe the stems are in a given year. Typically the fruit is partially destemmed. (Note that even today Guigal's La Landonne is not destemmed, with the exception of the difficult harvest of 2002.) Destemming decisions may not track what you think you know about vintages. For example, in the very difficult 1993 vintage, Guigal harvested very late. The berries were not completely ripe but the stems were, and no destemming was done. In '95, a year in which the grapes ripened thoroughly, the stems were completely green, and all the stems were removed.x000D According to Philippe Guigal, there are no secrets to the vinification of La Mouline. The fruit spends three to four weeks in the vat, with classic rémontage: 15-minute pumpovers every morning and afternoon. In lighter years, the Guigals don't look for a lot of extraction. Guigal uses no commercial yeasts. Since the La Mouline vineyard ripens early and is usually the first fruit into the cuverie, there aren't yet any yeasts floating around in the air. This normally allows for the equivalent of a cold maceration of five or six days before the fermentation starts. But the must is not chilled, except in years like '97, when the grapes came in already very warm. Since 1981, the wines have been fermented ...

vm

Vinous: 95+ Points

Saturated ruby-red. Sappy raspberry redcurrant plum and spices on the nose lifted by an exotic floral/apricotty viognier note and complicated by woodsmoke pepper and mint. Penetrating and very tightly wound with brisk acidity giving this extremely young wine almost painful intensity. A saline sappy quality and a hint of green pepper underscore the extreme youth of this highly promising wine. This certainly calls for at least a decade of additional aging. - By Stephen Tanzer on September 2004 Guigal's La Mouline arguably the single greatest example of Côte-Rôtie and unquestionably one of the three or four finest syrah-based wines in the world is actually a marque or a trademark. Technically La Mouline is part of the Côte Blonde hillside at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation above the town of Ampuis. But La Mouline is also a specific site�a one-hectare vineyard probably the oldest in Côte-Rôtie with an average vine age of about 80 years.x000D The earliest vines in La Mouline date back to 1893 when planting in Côte-Rôtie started up again after phylloxera. The Guigals planted some additional vines including a good bit of viognier after they purchased the Mouline parcel from the Dervieux family in the early 1960s (Marcel had just joined his father Etienne in 1961 and was soon to become the locomotive of the Côte-Rôtie appellation). At that time there were still some cherry trees in the vineyard.x000D x000D The syrah here is all petit sérine the small-berried old syrah that produces extraordinary creaminess and flavor intensity while normally avoiding hard tannins. This is an important advantage because so many of today's Côte-Rôties are from clonal selections that produce larger grapes with less structure and concentration of fruit. The vineyard is co-planted with 11% viognier a very high percentage for a modern-day Côte-Rôtie. When vines die the Guigals replace them with the same variety to maintain a constant ratio of syrah to viognier. The soil of La Mouline is light shallow fast-draining limestone mica and flint plus a lot of calcareous silt and clay (essentially windblown dust) all underlaid by huge rocks. La Mouline is a very dry site: drought is more of a threat to the vines than excessive moisture.x000D La Mouline may be the most perfect amphitheater vineyard in the Côte-Rôtie appellation with an exposition from full south to southeast. Wines have been made from this site for 2400 years. It's a true heat trap: according to Philippe Guigal Marcel's son the sun heats the rocks and the rocks radiate the heat toward the inside of the vineyard. So even at three o'clock in the morning in August according to Philippe the temperature amidst these vines can be 80 degrees. The vineyard is planted to a dense 10000 vines per hectare. There are numerous very small terraces some holding just a few vines and some of the original walls still exist.x000D Once the Guigals decide the moment is right to pick the grapes in La Mouline can be harvested in half a day. Prior to 1993 Guigal did not even own a destemmer. Since then the Guigals may destem their fruit completely or not at all depending on how ripe the stems are in a given year. Typically the fruit is partially destemmed. (Note that even today Guigal's La Landonne is not destemmed with the exception of the difficult harvest of 2002.) Destemming decisions may not track what you think you know about vintages. For example in the very difficult 1993 vintage Guigal harvested very late. The berries were not completely ripe but the stems were and no destemming was done. In '95 a year in which the grapes ripened thoroughly the stems were completely green and all the stems were removed.x000D According to Philippe Guigal there are no secrets to the vinification of La Mouline. The fruit spends three to four weeks in the vat with classic rémontage: 15-minute pumpovers every morning and afternoon. In lighter years the Guigals don't look for a lot of extraction. Guigal uses no commercial yeasts. Since the La Mouline vineyard ripens early and is usually the first fruit into the cuverie there aren't yet any yeasts floating around in the air. This normally allows for the equivalent of a cold maceration of five or six days before the fermentation starts. But the must is not chilled except in years like '97 when the grapes came in already very warm. Since 1981 the wines have been fermented ...

vm