Score : 100
Utter perfection, the 2005 Cote Rotie La Landonne exhibits a similar scorched earth/burning ember and bacon fat-scented nose as well as copious quantities of black fruits, truffles, and forest floor. Incredibly dense and masculine with unreal levels of concentration, and beautifully integrated tannin, acidity, and oak, this remarkable 2005 may turn out to be the longest-lived La Landonne since the debut vintage of 1978 (which is still going strong). Cellar this cuvee for 5-6 years, and consume it over the following 35+ years. Drink: 2014 - 2049. Robert Parker.
Wine Spectator - Sep 30, 2009
Still tight, with a wall of mocha and raspberry ganache covering the massive core of fig fruit, hoisin sauce and plum cake notes. This is extremely dense but remarkably polished, with a long, tongue-penetrating finish that drips of fruit and spice laid over massive grip. Best from 2012 through 2034. 1,000 cases made. Designation: Collectibles. James Molesworth.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Jan/Feb 07
Score : 95-98
Powerful, deeply concentrated cherry, dark berries and licorice on the nose, with suggestions of cured tobacco, molasses and espresso. Imploded dark fruit flavors are framed by solid tannins but the fruit easily muscles its way through, picking up notes of exotic spice s and candied licorice Expands and gains in sweetness on the chewy, very long finish. Not as sexy as the Turque but I get more depth and power here. Josh Raynolds.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Jan/Feb 08
Score : 95-97
Opaque purple. Brooding cherry-cola, cassis, cocoa and licorice scents, with suave Indian spices gaining power with air. Deep, chewy and sweet, offering impressively rich dark fruit preserve flavors, velvety tannins and great spicy lift. Really clings to the palate, finishing sappy and with outstanding thrust. An amazing wine, but I give the edge to the Turque today. Josh Raynolds.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Jan/Feb 09
Score : 97-99
Glass-staining purple. A black hole on the nose, reluctantly offering up notes of dark berry, plum compote, licorice and roasted coffee. Spicier and fresher on the palate, with sweet, deeply concentrated red and dark berry flavors and a salty note of olive tapenade. Impressively dense and powerful wine with incredible finishing cling and persistence. One for the darkest corner of your cellar. Josh Raynolds.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jan/Feb 10
Score : 97
Opaque purple. Highly expressive, exotic bouquet of blueberry, boysenberry, violet face powder, Indian spices and smoky minerals. Deeply concentrated but almost shockingly vibrant, offering palate-coating dark berry and cherry liqueur flavors and notes of floral pastilles and minerals. The finish doesn't want to let up and eventually leaves notes of flowers and smoky spices behind. This glyceral, potent wine is destined for a long life, and it would be a crime to open it any time soon. Josh Raynolds.
Guide Bettane & Desseauve des Vins de France
Score : 19,5/20
Floral, concentré, assez sauvage. Notes d'herbes sauvages, de goudron, de graphite. La bouche est minérale et concentrée, la finale tendue et bien précise. Grande distinction.
In order to enhance quality the Guigals worked to acquire ownership in vineyards. Purchased in 1965, the just under one-hectare La Mouline plantation, which is located on the slopes of Côte Blonde, set the stage for the Guigals’ present reputation. Introduced the very next year, the La Mouline single-vineyard proved to be a smashing success, and the active acquisition of vineyards continued. However, it would be more than 10 years before the Guigals introduced their next single-vineyard wine, the La Landonne, in 1978. Just over 2 hectares in size, the plot was purchased piece by piece from 17 different small-scale growers.
The Guigals finally revealed their true greatness in 1984 when they acquired the oldest winemaker in the Rhône, Etienne’s former employer, Vidal-Fleury. This significant acquisition instantly made the Guigals the leading producer in the Côte-Rôtie region, giving them a 35% share of the entire region’s output. This new acquisition also gave the Guigals ownership of Vidal-Fleury’s La Turque plot. Introduced in 1985, the La Turque cemented Guigal’s reputation as one of the most prestigious producers of single-vineyard wines in the Rhône. The single-vineyard wines gave the Guigals the authority that helped them to profile their production from the Côtes-du-Rhône wines on. This is how Guigal evolved into the region's leading commercial AOC brand, whose only real contender is, for the time being, Paul Jaboulet Ainé.
A 5.7 acre site planted entirely with Syrah, Guigal’s La Landonne has been produced since 1978, after being planted in 1975 at the time of Philippe Guigal’s birth. Guigal acquired the vineyard from numerous small owners, building their holding parcel by parcel over a decade. The vineyard is one of the steepest of the Côte Brune, a 45 degree slope of limestone clay very rich in iron oxide.
La Landonne is at the northern end of the Côte Brune and is the last vineyard to ripen, consequently its stems achieve full maturation and grapes are never destemmed.
The wine is continuously pumped over, and alcoholic fermentation and maceration last around 4 weeks. Aging is for 42 months in new oak barrels made at the Chateau d’Ampuis cooperage.
La Landonne is typically the most tannic, structured, powerful and intensely concentrated of the Guigal single-vineyard Côte-Rôties. It has great aging potential and is usually thought to take the longest to mature, though it rewards patience with its singular combination of fortitude and finesse.
Parker 100 points: Utter perfection, the 2005 Cote Rotie La Landonne exhibits a similar scorched earth/burning ember and bacon fat-scented nose as well as copious quantities of black fruits, truffles, and forest floor. Incredibly dense and masculine with unreal levels of concentration, and beautifully integrated tannin, acidity, and oak, this remarkable 2005 may turn out to be the longest-lived La Landonne since the debut vintage of 1978 (which is still going strong). Cellar this cuvee for 5-6 years, and consume it over the following 35+ years.
While the entire world of wine knows how profound Guigal’s red wines are, they may not know that he continues to demonstrate a complete mastery of white wine varietals, from his lowly Cotes du Rhone blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Clairette, and Bourboulenc, to his seriously-endowed dry whites from the northern Rhone. Over recent years, Guigal has been attempting to produce an interesting, fairly-priced, delicious Crozes-Hermitage. (The overall level of quality from this complex appellation is less than exciting.) Guigal is becoming one of the most important producers of high quality St.-Joseph. He fashions three cuvees, a general appellation offering, his St.-Joseph Lieu-Dit St.-Joseph, and the limited production Vignes de l’Hospice, which comes from high elevation, steeply terraced vines planted at the top of the small mountain that dominates the town of Tournon. Along with Chapoutier’s St.-Joseph Les Granits, Guigal’s Vignes de l’Hospice is one of the most profound wines of the appellation. It comes from a 5.5 acre parcel at the top of the small mountain that dominates the town of Tournon. The soils are decomposed granite with essentially the same soil base as the great vineyard of Hermitage across the river known as Les Bessards. One can argue that by producing the Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis, Guigal is pulling some high quality material away from his Brune et Blonde, and it seems to me that only in the greatest vintages is the Brune et Blonde as consistent as it was in the past.
That said, the Chateau d’Ampuis is superb. This cuvee comes from some of the top vineyards planted on the steep hillsides of Cote Rotie, such as Le Clos, La Grande Plantee, La Pommiere, Pavillon Rouge, Le Moulin, and Guigal’s most recent purchase, La Viria, which I suspect will become another single vineyard Cote Rotie in a few years. There are around 2,000 cases of this cuvee, and it is aged 30 or more months in 100% new oak. Guigal’s single vineyard Cote Roties are other-worldly in nearly every vintage. I have given these offerings more perfect scores than any other wines in the world. They represent three completely different expressions of Cote Rotie, and are made in limited quantities. There are about 1,000 cases of La Landonne, and 500-600 cases each of La Mouline and La Turque. La Mouline, which includes the highest percentage of co-fermented Viognier (11%), is always the more delicate, voluptuous wine with the most complex aromatics. La Turque is a denser, more gamy, meaty effort with approximately 7% Viognier co-fermented. It comes across as a completely different style of wine. La Landonne, which is grown in pure schist on the steep hillsides of the northern-most sector of the appellation, is 100% Syrah. It is the densest, most concentrated, masculine, and tannic of these three cuvees. Regardless of the vintage’s style and personality, La Mouline will always be the most flattering to drink young, followed by La Turque, and lastly by La Landonne. All three of these offerings are aged for a remarkably long, 42 month period in 100% new oak barrels (but they are never oaky), and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. They typically have 30+ years of longevity in top vintages. In short, they are singular expressions of greatness from spectacular vineyards that are brought to fruition with non-interventionalistic, creative yet distinctive winemaking. A re-visit to the 2004s has proven that Guigal’s long barrel aging can produce wines that are often better out of bottle than they were early in cask, a common occurrence at Guigal.