I have been a fan of the fine wines from the firm of E. Guigal in Ampuis, France, for many, many years. These wines from the Côtes du Rhône are of very high quality, yet are typically priced quite reasonably. They are consistently great bangs-for-the-buck.
Founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal, his son Marcel has led the family estate since 1961 and his son Philippe – Etienne’s grandson – serves today as Director and Oenologist at the E. Guigal winery. Tradition is important at E. Guigal.
The 2015 vintage red wines from E. Guigal come from a year in the Northern Rhone where conditions for grape growing were nearly perfect. It’s an excellent vintage year, so run, don’t walk, to get your hands on as many bottles of 2015 Guigal wines as you can.
In particular, I’ve been very much enjoying Guigal 2015 Saint-Joseph ($34.99). The ripe, concentrated wine is made from 100% Syrah grapes, with flavors that remind me of blueberry Pop Tarts (that’s a good thing), albeit with delicate oak notes that aren’t found in Pop Tarts.
While you could age this wine and it will improve for a decade or so, it’s delicious to drink right now. It’s fairly powerful, so I would serve it alongside grilled meats and mushroom dishes, along with hard cheeses.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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