La Turque is Guigal’s latest addition to the single-vineyard Côte-Rôties. This vineyard produced outstanding wines in the first half of the 20th century, but then was not used for wine production for nearly 50 years. The Guigals acquired the vineyard and re-planted it in 1980 and 1981 based on Etienne Guigal’s memory of the quality of the wines it once produced, and the first vintage appeared in 1985.
La Turque is around 2.5 acres in size, situated just north of the Côte Blonde and into the Côte Brune on a vertiginous slope that enjoys perfect southern exposure; La Turque is in fact the only vineyard in Côte-Rôtie that directly sees the first rays of sunshine in the morning all the way through the last rays of dusk. This vineyard is planted to 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier, with a soil type of silicone limestone with schist that produces clay soils rich in iron oxide.
The wine is punched down 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.
The complex soils lend an exotic character to La Turque, and its concentration and elegance exhibit the virility of the Côte Brune with the subtlety and femininity of the Côte Blonde.
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.
Côte-Rôtie La Turque – E. Guigal
The house of E.GUIGAL was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal at Ampuis, just to the south and across the Rhône from the famous roman city of Vienne. Ampuis is at the centre of the appellation of Côte-Rôtie where the Syrah grape shows at its finest. The steep hillside of Ampuis has been producing wine from its terraces for at least 2400 years, a fact that the coins found in the vines prove.
Etienne Guigal came as a cellarman and vigneron to the house of Vidal-Fleury, the oldest in the Rhône, being founded in 1781, at the age of 14 in 1923. In all he was to be involved in 67 vintages of Côte-Rôtie between Vidal-Fleury and Guigal, and his crowning achievement was to buy in 1984 the house of Vidal-Fleury where he had begun. Vidal-Fleury still operates independently of the house of Guigal.
Almost as young as when his father began, Marcel Guigal joined his father, who had suddenly become blind in 1961, and together they worked to make E.GUIGAL the fine house that it is today. Today, Philippe Guigal, oenologist, is the third generation to continue the family endeavour to be at the service of the greatest wines of the Rhône Valley. United as a family, Bernadette, Marcel and Philippe work together to develop this family owned and run enterprise.
The three generations of Guigal are convinced of one fundamental fact : that wine is made in the vineyards, and that man can only give a helping hand.
The methods of viticulture are practised with total respect for the environment. Natural methods of combating parasites and disease ensure that the grapes cultivated in the domaine's vineyards fully express the complexity of the greatest terroirs of the Côte-Rôtie.
The vineyard of the Côte-Rôtie covers approximately 215 hectares comprising the Côte Brune, situated uphill from the Reynard stream and the Côte Blonde, which is situated below. These vines were originally planted over 24 centuries ago by the Romans.
Situated on the Côte Brune, La Turque benefits from full Southern exposure and from a complex terroir made up of shale and iron oxide which lend finesse and strength to this wine.
The headquarters of the GUIGAL estate are situated at the Château d’Ampuis whilst the offices and cellars remain in the small ancient village, cradle of the CÔTE-ROTIE appellation.
Soil: flint and limestone, with some clay and tracers of clinker
Production area: 1 ha
Grape varieties: Syrah 93%, Viognier 7%
Average age of vines: 20 years
Harvest method: hand picked
Winemaking: vinification in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, system of automatic crushing, alcoholic fermentation and maceration over at least 3 weeks
Ageing: 42 months in new oak barrels
Tel. + 33 4 7456 1022
Fax + 33 4 7456 1876