Crozes-Hermitage brings you into the Northern Rhône Valley, where the red wines have a profile unlike anywhere else in the world, an irresistible combination of warm flavors of red and black fruit, exotic spice notes, and certainly in the case of Crozes, with pleasure and approachability in youth.
It’s important to note that most of Crozes-Hermitage is produced from the plains to the south and east of Hermitage, and these wines tend to be straightforward. Guigal’s approach is to make a more serious Crozes that also has vigor, intensity and depth. In Guigal’s hands, Crozes becomes a wine that delivers quality and pleasure far beyond its price.
Guigal first produced a Crozes-Hermitage in 1999 after the acquisition of low-yielding, hillside vineyards. Since then they have continued to purchase similar quality vineyards, exclusively on hillsides, on soils that tend to limestone, clay silt and sandy gravel, with vine age averaging 35 years. The vineyards are grouped in the north of the appellation, specifically around the villages of Gervans, Mercurol, Larnage and Crozes-Hermitage itself.
This 100% Syrah was fermented in stainless steel tanks and was then aged for 24 months in 228 liter barrels exclusively produced at Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis cooperage.
Following the classic 2016 vintage, 2017 in the Northern Rhône was a vintage of contrasts and challenges. After a very dry winter, spring was wet with hail and frost in some areas, reducing the crop considerably. Summer was characterized by periods of extreme drought, which continued through the fall, interrupted by some needed rain in early September. The fruit was clean and extremely concentrated, producing forward, fruity wines of balance, length and depth. A great result!
Extremely dark and deep in color, the nose bursts with aromas of cherries and strawberries, balanced by the presence of wood. A tannic and large wine, with flavors of blackcurrant and hints of vanilla. Remarkable freshness with structured tannins from extended aging in wood.
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Advocate - "Boasting scents of cracked pepper, black olives, road tar and blackberries, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage is a notable effort and a solid value. It's medium-bodied, yet on the sturdy side, with muscular tannins tamed by the firm's traditional, lengthy élevage. Finishing long, with hints of charred meat and licorice, this should drink well for 6-7 years, perhaps longer."
Jeb Dunnuck -
"A great example of the vintage, the 2017 Crozes-Hermitage is perfumed and expressive, with sunny notes of ripe red and black fruits, saddle leather, dried herbs, and hints of spiced meat. With medium-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and terrific overall balance, it's a total charmer."
Vinous Media -
"Bright violet. Spice-tinged blackberry, cherry, pungent flowers and a hint of succulent herbs on the perfumed nose. Smooth and energetic on the palate, offering juicy dark berry flavors that show very good depth and a late touch of spiciness. Finishes spicy, gently sweet and long, with a repeating blue fruit note and supple, even tannins."
Other Wines by this Producer
Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône Blanc both sets and steps outside the standard for the appellation and showcases one of the great secrets of the Guigal family: their specialization in the great white Rhône varieties. While only 8% of the Rhône's production is white, a full 25% of Guigal’s production is white and they are today the single largest producer of whites in the Rhône Valley.
The Guigal family has made serious dry rosé wines since the 1940s, and their Côtes du Rhône Rosé, like all their Côtes du Rhône wines, is humble in name only. The wine bursts with irresistible fresh red fruits and yet is also serious and satisfying. While this Rosé is always a lovely aperitif, its intensity and richness make it perfect for the table, and it pairs well with all manner of cuisines. And starting with the 2020 vintage, the wine has a stunning new proprietary bottle: a subtle enhancement for an already elegant wine!
Given that this particular wine can be the introduction to the entire Rhône Valley for a drinker, as well as the position they occupy in the Rhône, it is not enough for the Guigals to make a good Côtes du Rhône. They are relentlessly driven to produce a distinctive and outstanding wine that drives interest in exploring the entirety of the Rhône.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expresiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Explosive and exotic floral and fruit aromas and flavors meld with intense mineral notes, and the silky, powerful concentration of flavors has an appealing roundness that finishes remarkably fresh.
Guigal’s Gigondas is an incredible introduction to serious Southern Rhône reds, and a show-stopper at the price. In the hands of Guigal, the rich ripe fruit and savory character of the wine bursts with sheer pleasure, yet the wine displays terrific refinement, complexity, length and ability to age.
Guigal produces an intensely concentrated, inviting and complex Châteauneuf-du Pape that is almost unique to the region today. Their passion for Châteauneuf, the leading appellation of the Southern Rhône, runs as deeply as that for their home sites in the Northern Rhône.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations, producing small quantities of extraordinarily intense and ageworthy red wine and tiny amounts of dry white. The entire vineyard consists of 309 acres planted on a single granite hillside on the banks of the Rhône. The Hermitage Rouge is the example of a racy wine, that manages to remain seductive.
Guigal is synonymous with the Côte-Rôtie area, for bringing this great wine region to prominence, and for owning three times as much land as next largest land-owner, vinifiying 1/3 of the total appellation, and unquestionably holding the finest sites in this tiny, special area. The incredible Syrah from this area, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, has tremendously balanced concentration, depth and finesse.
Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expressiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Even more of a discovery is Hermitage Blanc, one of the least-known yet most intriguing wines of the Rhône Valley and in the small 309 acre Hermitage AOC.