Long known for wines from Côte-Rôtie, Marcel Guigal and his son Philippe never planned to acquire land in St-Joseph, about 40 miles south. But they changed their minds when they took a look at the parcels Jean-Louis Grippat was offering to sell them in 2000: His land was in the historic heart of the now-sprawling appellation, and included Lieu-Dit St-Joseph, the parcel from which the appellation takes its name. Here, the slopes incline at over 50 percent and are built of gneiss and granite; the vines range in age from 20 years to more than 70. They handled the heat of the 2018 vintage well, turning out a wine as elegant as it is firm, almost forbidding in its polished, well-oaked façade. Those mahogany tones course along lean lines, the wine compact and concentrated, a nugget of dense black fruit wrapped in tannins and lashed with notes of licorice and spice. The wine in our bottle remained unchanged for days after opening, opulent in a stand-offish way. Of course, we opened it years before its prime—so you don’t have to. Better to wait at least another ten years, or even twenty.
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
This story appears in the print issue of December 2021.
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