Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc 2015
Ermitage Ex-Voto represents the fulfillment of a longtime dream of Marcel Guigal’s to own vineyard land on the hill of Hermitage. Through the purchase of the de Vallouit and J. L. Grippat domaines in 2000, Guigal acquired four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site. The 2001 vintage was the first release of this estate-bottled Hermitage red and white. The quality of the intense old-vine fruit is quite special, but given the Guigal’s already strong work in Hermitage, they decided to only release an Ex-Voto red or white when the wine is utterly exceptional and clearly superior to their appellation bottlings.
This wine, produced from hillside fruit, represents the best of the appellation. The Guigals own four exceptional vineyard parcels on this legendary site featuring intense, old-vine fruit. The fruit sourced for this wine comes from two parcels, les Murets (90%), a parcel with alluvial and rocky topoils, and L’Hermite (10%), with a loess and sandy limestone topsoil.
The 2015 expression is 90% Marsanne and 10% Roussanne fruit.
The wine is vinified in and spends 30 months in new oak casks produced by the Guigals at Chateau d’Ampuis. It goes fully through both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel, and is bottled without fining or filtration.
When Marcel Guigal called 2015 “the vintage of a lifetime” and on par with 1929, 1947 and 1961,″ the anticipation while Guigal carried out their customary extended aging was almost too much to bear. From a vintage nearly as perfect as you could get, from vine dormancy right through harvest, the wines are spellbinding, with an utterly perfect balance of charm, complexity, and power.
Replenishing rain in the winter restored the water tables to supply the plants with nutrients, and then abundant sunshine and warmth helped the vines mature the berries to perfection as the generous diurnal shift maintained the acidity and freshness of the fruit. To buy, drink, age and, above all, enjoy as often as possible!
The 2015 Hermitage Ex Voto Blanc is positively stunning, and one of the greatest expressions of this wine we’ve tasted. There is a gorgeous perfume upfront, featuring aromas of quince, toasted brioche, honey and flint – as well as a secondary aroma of licorice. It is lush and complex, with bright acidity that is balanced by minerality. This is a wine to age and to enjoy for years, rather decades to come.
Guigal uses only environmentally sustainable methods of pest, disease and weed control. They work to conserve biological diversity, water resources, soils and ecosystems on their land. Packaging materials are recyclable or biodegradable. Lastly, they are committed to achieving a zero waste target.
Suggested Retail Price
Vinous Media - "Limpid yellow-gold. Smoke- and mineral-tinged orchard and pit fruit and honey aromas show outstanding clarity, and a sexy floral element emerges slowly. Intense, palate-staining pear, peach nectar and tangerine flavors show superb energy and complicating notes of anise, iodine and nougat. Fleshes out and becomes spicier on the mineral-driven finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and a lingering floral quality."
Jeb Dunnuck - “The 2015 Hermitage Ex Voto Blanc is certainly in the same league as the 2009 and 2010, and it’s going to be interesting to compare these vintages over the coming 2-3+ decades. The 2015 has all the hallmarks of a great vintage with its huge bouquet of quince, toasted almonds, brioche, liquid rocks, and honeysuckle as well as touch of licorice. Sensationally concentrated, opulent, and multi-dimensional on the palate, it has bright acidity and an awesome sense of minerality that keep the wine chiseled and focused on the palate. It has the structure of a red wine and will keep for 4-5 decades. Bravo!”
Other Wines by this Producer
Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône Blanc both sets and steps outside the standard for the appellation and showcases one of the great secrets of the Guigal family: their specialization in the great white Rhône varieties. While only 8% of the Rhône's production is white, a full 25% of Guigal’s production is white and they are today the single largest producer of whites in the Rhône Valley.
The Guigal family has made serious rosé wines since the 1940s, and their Côtes du Rhône Rosé, like all their Côtes du Rhône wines, is humble in name only. The wine bursts with irresistible fresh red fruits and yet is also long and satisfying. Because of its quality and body, it's a rosé that you can bring to the table, and do so all year long. It is a rosé that offers both refreshment and pleasure.
Given that this particular wine can be the introduction to the entire Rhône Valley for a drinker, as well as the position they occupy in the Rhône, it is not enough for the Guigals to make a good Côtes du Rhône. They are relentlessly driven to produce a distinctive and outstanding wine that drives interest in exploring the entirety of the Rhône.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. The reds, which are the majority of production, have wonderful warm flavors of red and black fruit, and typical Syrah pepper, spice and savory notes.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expresiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Explosive and exotic floral and fruit aromas and flavors meld with intense mineral notes, and the silky, powerful concentration of flavors has an appealing roundness that finishes remarkably fresh.
Guigal’s Gigondas is an incredible introduction to serious Southern Rhône reds, and a show-stopper at the price. In the hands of Guigal, the rich ripe fruit and savory character of the wine bursts with sheer pleasure, yet the wine displays terrific refinement, complexity, length and ability to age.
Guigal produces an intensely concentrated, inviting and complex Châteauneuf-du Pape that is almost unique to the region today. Their passion for Châteauneuf, the leading appellation of the Southern Rhône, runs as deeply as that for their home sites in the Northern Rhône.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations, producing small quantities of extraordinarily intense and ageworthy red wine and tiny amounts of dry white. The entire vineyard consists of 309 acres planted on a single granite hillside on the banks of the Rhône. The Hermitage Rouge is the example of a racy wine, that manages to remain seductive.
Guigal is synonymous with the Côte-Rôtie area, for bringing this great wine region to prominence, and for owning three times as much land as next largest land-owner, vinifiying 1/3 of the total appellation, and unquestionably holding the finest sites in this tiny, special area. The incredible Syrah from this area, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, has tremendously balanced concentration, depth and finesse.
Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expressiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Even more of a discovery is Hermitage Blanc, one of the least-known yet most intriguing wines of the Rhône Valley and in the small 309 acre Hermitage AOC.