Scheduled to be bottled just after this visit, the 2015 Côte Rôtie Château D'Ampuis reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of smoked black fruits, caramelized blackcurrants, leady herbs, ground pepper, and earth. It's deep, rich, massively concentrated, and a powerhouse of a wine that’s going to need bottle age, but wow, what a wine! The big news at the Guigal estate is the purchase of Domaine de Nalys in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The family has always wanted an estate in the South, and Nalys is an unrealized treasure trove of awesome terroir and old vines, both of which I’ve no doubt will be maximized by this talented family. In addition, the former winemaker at Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Jacques Desvernois, has joined the team, and while it’s not clear exactly what his role will be, I suspect he will largely lead the charge at Domaine de Nalys. Either way, Desvernois is an incredible talent and can only add to what is already a well-oiled machine. As to the wines reviewed in this report, I was able to taste multiple vintages of each of the cuvées and have listed the wines by cuvée as opposed to by vintage, which is how we tasted through the wines.
A gorgeous core of steeped raspberry, boysenberry and fig fruit gives this a showy side. A lush structure flows underneath, while long echoes of warm ganache, black tea and espresso linger. The fruit keeps this in the suave and alluring camp overall, though there’s plenty of grip for cellaring. (JM)
The 2015 Cote Rotie Chateau d'Ampuis finally approaches the lofty goals set for it by the Guigal family. It’s a bit toasty from the barrel but full-bodied, ripe and concentrated. Loaded with tannins and black raspberry fruit, it’s silky at the same time, leaving behind lingering traces of mocha and roasted meat on the long finish. (JC)
Brilliant violet. Powerful, smoke-tinged dark berry preserve, candied violet, olive and fruitcake aromas show excellent clarity and pick up a spicy element with air. Palate-staining blackberry, cherry liqueur, bitter chocolate and floral pastille flavors are sharpened by a suggestion of cracked pepper. Surprisingly light on its feet given the depth of flavor and power. Finishes extremely long and floral, with steadily building tannins and a sneaky touch of exotic spices. (JR)
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