E. Guigal, Côtes du Rhône (Rhône Valley, France) 2020

($18, Vintus):  Guigal’s single vineyard wines from the Côte Rôtie, La Mouline, La Landonne, and La Turque, which sell for hundreds of dollars upon release and are highly allocated, bring fame to that firm.  In my mind, what makes Guigal a famed producer is this wine, their consistently excellent and well-priced Côtes du Rhône.   Guigal produces roughly four million bottles of it annually, compared to four thousand bottles of La Mouline.  It’s a real challenge to make four million bottles of high-quality wine.  Guigal does it every year.  The 2020 version of this “go-to” mid-weight red, a blend of Syrah (50%), Grenache (40%), and Mourvèdre, delivers spice, dark fruit, and a touch of meatiness, all wrapped in mild tannins.  It’s a fine choice for hearty fall and winter fare.  That said, I’ve had many of Guigal’s “simple” Côtes du Rhône with a few years of bottle age that have developed surprising complexity, so there’s no problem if you buy a case and forget about a few bottles in your cellar or storage space.
90 Michael Apstein Oct 17, 2023