Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Blanc 2017
Guigal’s Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Blanc comes from the vineyard that gives the Saint-Joseph appellation its name, and is one of the finest sites in the Northern Rhone Valley. Made in minuscule quantities, the Lieu Dit Blanc is one of the most original and distinctive whites in the Rhone.
Guigal believes, as do a number of top producers working in the area, that Saint-Joseph will be one of the great stories in the next few decades, reaching the renown it received several hundred years ago. Saint-Joseph Blanc is a serious wine, with weight and complexity, and is deeply reflective of its vineyard sites. A seamless balance of freshness and fruitiness, pleasure and interest, and flavors and structure. Guigal’s specialty in whites is especially evident in this wine.
This Saint Joseph Lieu Dit Blanc is comprised of fruit from the exceptional Lieu Dit vineyard previously owned by Domaine J. L. Grippat (purchased in 2000). Vines average in age from 20 up to 75 years, and are planted on steep slopes of Gneiss with granite. The white grapes are more specifically planted to 95% Marsanne and 5% Roussanne.
How Guigal came to own these vineyards needs its own chapter, but we will try to summarize. In short, the Guigals for years wanted to purchase land in Hermitage. Jean-Louis Grippat, considered the best producer in Saint Joseph at the time, had no heirs interested in taking over his family business, and told the Guigals he was going to sell his vineyards, including land he owned in Hermitage. The catch was that the sale was all or nothing; he would not parcel out his vineyard holdings.
Marcel and Philippe drove the 45 minutes down to Saint-Joseph from Côte-Rôtie, and somberly discussed in the car how they would have to explain to Jean-Louis that they were not interested. It was not something they could do over the phone, hence the drive. When they arrived, rather than sitting down for a discussion, Jean-Louis took them right to his Saint-Joseph vineyards. Though they live only 45 minutes north, the Guigals had never seen the region through the eyes of one of its top producers, and never walked vineyards of this quality. They fell in love, and made the purchase.
Fermentation is in stainless steel, with a slow pressing allowing the wine to stay on its skins. Aging is in a combination of new (50%) and second use (50%) barrels, all coopered by Guigal at Château d’Ampuis.
The hot and dry and, above all, early season, resulted in smaller fruit and, in the end, lower yields. The Northern Rhone enjoyed an overall more consistent vintage than the South, with whites displaying a lovely balance of ripeness and acidity, and reds ripe but with the advantage of additional structural components coming from the phenolics.
Straw yellow with golden tints. Very complex nose with hazelnuts, yellow fruit and oak accents. Full-bodied attack, with fleshy fruit and a round palate. Balanced with complex aromas and the roundness characteristic of the best sites of the appellation.
For nearly 4 decades Guigal has used 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 -
"Bright straw-yellow. A suave, deeply perfumed bouquet evokes pear nectar, peach, candied fig and vanilla, along with hints of jasmine and ginger that emerge with aeration. Densely packed and penetrating on the palate, offering intense orchard and pit fruit flavors that are given back-end grip by a snap of bitter orange pith. Rich but vibrant in character, displaying impressive finishing energy and mineral-driven persistence. 50% new oak."
More on E. Guigal Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit Blanc 2017
October 7, 2019 - Summarizing James Molesworth's latest Wine Spectator feature on E. Guigal's 2017 vintage would not do it justice. We highly encourage you to read through the detailed article, which features several…
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