Guigal d'Ampuis Cote Rotie 1996
One of the powerhouses of the Rhône and a name synonymous with beautifully crafted wines from some of the regions finest vineyard sites. After 15 years working at Vidal-Fleury, Etienne Guigal formed his own estate in 1946, joined by his son Marcel in 1961 and by 1984, they had purchased Vidal-Fleury and took control of 35% of the Côte Rôtie harvest. They purchased the Château d'Ampuis in 1995, today fully restored, it is the headquarters of the estate and home to the Guigal cooperage. Marcel's son, Phillipe is the winemaker and Guigal produce a range of stunning wines from across the terroirs of the Rhône.
Wine Advocate #133 (Feb 2001) Robert Parker 90 points Drink 2001-2013: Sadly, there are only 23,000 bottles (all aged in small oak) of the outstanding 1996 Cote Rotie Chateau d'Ampuis, which was bottled in October, 1999. Its dark ruby/purple color is followed by an intense nose of tapenade, dried herbs, licorice, leather, and black currants. The wine is nicely-textured, soft, with less acidity than most 1996 Cote Roties, and a layered, supple finish. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
Wine Advocate #121 (Feb 1999) Robert Parker (89-91) points Drink 1999-2011: While tasting through all the elements of the 1996 Cote Rotie Chateau d'Ampuis, I was struck by the diversity in quality of the different components. There are lighter, more herbaceous cuvees, such as La Moulin and La Grande Plantee, as well as sumptuously rich, substantial cuvees, such as La Pomiere, Le Pavillon Rouge, and Le Clos. This wine may score anywhere between 88 and 91. It should age well for 10-12 years.
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