Guigal’s Hermitage Rouge is a true expression of 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 and exotic spice notes that bring great pleasure.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations within the Rhône, 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. In Guigal’s hands, the Hermitage Rouge is a racy wine, that manages to remain seductive.
The Guigals own 4 parcels in Hermitage, planted on limestone, clay loam and sandy topsoils that lie above the granite mother rock. To supplement this, they will also purchase grapes from small growers. Overall, vine age averages 30 years.
Hermitage is picked by hand before undergoing a vinification of around 3 weeks in temperature controlled stainless steel vats.
The wine is aged for 30-36 months in barrels coopered exclusively by Guigal, 50% of which were new. Bottling was without fining or filtration. This robust and powerful wine especially needs the extended aging both in barrel and in bottle before release so that it can integrate and develop its bouquet and palate of black fruits, minerality and game.
Following the classic 2016 vintage, 2017 in the Northern Rhône was a year of contrasts and challenges. Following 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 crop in Hermitage was about 25% smaller than usual. However, the fruit was clean and extremely concentrated, with rich but round tannins, producing dense wines of balance, length and long aging potential. Guigal’s 2017 Hermitage is uncharacteristically rich, with the usual great depth and length – impressive right after bottling. A great result!
This is a wine that displays deep rub red with violet tinges. The nose opens with spices, red berries and delicate oak aromas. The palate is typical of a powerful wine with strong tannic structure. Aromas of blackcurrant buds and vanilla follow, with a spicy licorice finish. In conclusion, the wine is racy and seductive, perfect for putting down.
Suggested Retail Price
Wine & Spirits Magazine - "Yes, there’s the sumptuous oak that’s a hallmark of Guigal reds, as well as a hedonistic chocolatey density of flavor. There’s red fruit and warm spice, licorice and earth, and a meaty flavor akin to the crispy, salty bits on the bottom of a roasting pan. But the standout element in this wine is its combination of steadfast tannic power and grace. It brings to mind Richard Serra’s iron sculptures, monolithic, voluptuous and built to last for ages."
Wine Advocate - "Guigal's 2017 Hermitage boasts singed leather, exotic spice and roasted meat notes, plus plenty of cedar, mocha, cherry and cassis. It's a whirl of complexity bound together on the medium to full-bodied palate by velvety, chewy tannins that give way on the finish to savory spices and a wash of ripe fruit. It should drink well for 10-15 years."
Jeb Dunnuck - "Aged 48 months in barrel, it’s ruby/purple-colored and has a killer nose of blackcurrants, black raspberries, smoked meats, spice box, vanillin, and espresso. Rich, full-bodied, and powerful, with background oak, loads of fruit, and ripe, sweet tannins, it shows the style of this vintage beautifully."
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. The reds, which are the majority of production, have wonderful warm flavors of red and black fruit, and typical Syrah pepper, spice and savory notes.
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.
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.