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.
Score : (91-93)
The 2008 Cote Rotie La Landonne is a remarkable effort in this challenging vintage. Although harder edged than normal, it possesses loads of concentration along with abundant notes of roasted herbs, coffee, charcuterie, grilled meats, Asian soy sauce and black fruits. Medium-bodied and intense with moderate tannin, it should age well for 15 or more years. Drink: 2011 – 2026. Robert Parker.
Guide Bettane & Desseauve des Vins de France
Score : 18/20
Un nez typique de vendange entière, intensément floral, la grosse matière tannique a parfaitement supporté l’élevage, même si les arômes du bois doivent encore se fondre. Il faut de toute façon l’attendre, c’est encore un peu ferme.