É. Guigal Côte de Rhône Rosé 2005
Known for some of the Rhône's top wines, particularly the matchless Côte Rôtie,
Établissements Guigal has also blazed an admirable trail at the lower end of the price
spectrum as a négociant, as this fine Côte de Rhône rosé attests. Half Grenache, the wine is
40% Cinsault and 5% each Mourvèdre and Syrah. The $12 wine is medium strawberry in
color, with aromatic notes of strawberry, raspberry and cherry.
The appellation Côte de Rhône is rather broad in geographical terms, which in the case of Guigal simply denotes a large universe from which to buy in the best Rhône grapes. The touch and feel of the wine is its best note; it has a sensuous, elegant, rather civilized mouthfeel, absolutely European.
The fruit on the palate is led by raspberry with strawberry, cherry, a warm tangerine, and floral notes of rose. The acidity is cooperative throughout, piping in at the refreshing finish with a deep tang of pomegranate. The wine has excellent ripe fruit extraction and yet at the same time presents a pleasant lightness appropriate in a rosé.
I wouldn't peg it too forcefully as a summer wine, but it was, in fact, more than a match for a
true scorcher. If I were to position this rosé ideally, I would call it an aperitif, either standing
alone or paving the way for a heavier wine at dinner. It is such a well-made wine, however,
that it would be a shame not to give it center stage at some point.
Verdict: First Rate
I admit to being a Rhône buff, but of course that category leaves me with a fairly wide variety of grapes and styles of wine.
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman