Ermitage Ex Voto Rouge 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 100% Syrah 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 grapes come from four steepsloped vineyards: Bessards (30%), Greffieux (30%), L’Hermite (20%), and Murets (20%). The vines at these sites average 50-90 years in age, and the soil types range from clay to granite to alluvial.
The 100% Syrah wine undergoes a 4-week maceration and pump-overs, followed by extended barrel aging for 40 months in new French oak. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration, creating a wine that represents the pinnacle of the appellation, with exceptional concentration and great potential longevity.
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!
Deep dark ruby colour with mauve tints. The nose opens to black fruits, leather, liquorice, coffee flavour and oriental spices. The palate begins with a powerful attack with richness and an important tannic structure. This wine expression fully the terroir trough its finesse and the strength of its tannins. Overally, a wine with great ageing potential, structured and concentrated with a rare intensity of flavour and colour.
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
Jeb Dunnuck (98+) - "The rich, powerful, primordial 2015 Hermitage Ex Voto isn’t for those seeking instant gratification and will need a solid decade of bottle age. Incredible notes of crème de cassis, liquid rocks, Asian spices, and toasted bread all emerge from this full-bodied, massively endowed effort. It will most likely merit a triple-digit rating in 4-5 years and will keep for three decades."
Vinous Media - "Deep, glass-staining ruby. Deep-pitched aromas of cherry liqueur, blackberry, fruitcake and incense on the highly perfumed nose. Stains the palate with vibrant black and blue fruit liqueur, allspice and violet pastille flavors, enlivened by a smoky mineral nuance that builds with aeration. Shows a suave blend of richness and vivacity, and no rough edges. Spicy and expansive on the strikingly long, sappy finish, which features resonating dark berry character and youthfully chewy tannins."
Wine Advocate - "Spicy, cedary and firm, the 2015 Ermitage Ex Voto is built tough, like the granite it comes from. Hints of pencil shavings and crushed stone accent mixed red and black fruit, picking up hints of licorice and pepper on the long, tannic finish. Give this another 5-6 years in the cellar, then drink it over the following decade and a half or so."
James Suckling - "This is a very powerful, sweetly spiced and complex Hermitage with hung meat and very ripe dark berries, delivered amid iodine and dark stones, as well as a core of rich mulberries and blackberries. The palate has an extremely impressive and succulent feel with such intensity and deeply ripe, long, plush tannins. Gossamer smooth finish and long, rich dark-plum flavors. Best from 2025."
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 dry 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 serious and satisfying. While this Rosé is always a lovely aperitif, its intensity and richness make it perfect for the table, and it pairs well with all manner of cuisines. And starting with the 2020 vintage, the wine has a stunning new proprietary bottle: a subtle enhancement for an already elegant wine!
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.