The world of fine wine is filled with legendary vineyards, iconic winemakers, and storied vintages. Few wines, however, have captured the imagination of connoisseurs and critics alike quite like the 2009 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque. This extraordinary Syrah from the Rhône Valley in France is a testament to the skill, passion, and terroir that make the region one of the most revered wine-producing areas in the world.
In the information below, we will delve into the history of the vineyard, explore the 2009 vintage's exceptional qualities, and provide an overview of the tasting notes that make this wine so extraordinary.
Founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal, the Guigal estate is now overseen by the third generation of the family, Philippe Guigal. The winery has earned a reputation for producing some of the finest wines in the Rhône Valley, with a particular focus on the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, and Hermitage. Their commitment to quality, tradition, and innovation has made Guigal wines highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts around the globe.
Côte Rôtie, meaning "roasted slope," is an appellation located in the northernmost part of the Rhône Valley. Known for its steep, terraced vineyards and a unique mix of soil types, the region produces distinctive and highly prized Syrah-based wines. The combination of schist, granite, and iron-rich clay soils imparts a characteristic minerality to the wines, while the region's moderate climate ensures that the grapes ripen slowly and evenly, allowing for the development of complex flavors and aromas.
La Turque is one of Guigal's three single-vineyard Côte Rôtie wines, alongside La Mouline and La Landonne. The vineyard is a 2.5-acre plot located on a steep, south-facing slope, with vines averaging 35 years of age. The unique terroir of La Turque, characterized by its iron-rich clay soils and the presence of the rare Viognier grape variety, sets it apart from its sister vineyards and results in a wine of exceptional depth, power, and elegance.
The 2009 vintage in the Rhône Valley was nothing short of extraordinary. A combination of optimal weather conditions and meticulous vineyard management resulted in a harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy grapes. The season began with a warm, dry spring, followed by a hot summer with just enough rainfall to sustain the vines without causing excessive dilution. The dry, warm weather continued through September, allowing the grapes to reach optimal ripeness without losing their crucial acidity.
The result was a vintage that has been widely heralded as one of the best in recent memory, with many wines showing immense power, concentration, and balance. The 2009 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque is no exception, having earned widespread critical acclaim and cementing its status as one of the finest wines of the vintage.
The 2009 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque is a captivating wine, with a complex and beguiling array of aromas and flavors that evolve and deepen as the wine opens up in the glass. The initial bouquet is dominated by intense black fruit notes, including blackberry, black cherry, and blackcurrant, which are soon joined by seductive hints of violets, black olives, and roasted coffee beans. As the wine evolves, subtle undertones of smoked meat, white pepper, and crushed rocks emerge, providing a beguiling counterpoint to the wine's lush fruit profile.
On the palate, the 2009 La Turque is a study in harmony and power. The wine is full-bodied and rich, with a velvety texture and seamless integration of its tannins, acidity, and alcohol. The flavors echo the nose, with layers of ripe black fruit, violet, and savory notes intermingling and unfolding with each sip. The finish is extraordinarily long and persistent, leaving behind an impression of grace, depth, and finesse.
One of the unique aspects of the 2009 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque is the inclusion of a small percentage of Viognier in the blend. Although the wine is primarily composed of Syrah (93%), the addition of 7% Viognier adds a delicate floral character to the nose and palate, as well as contributing to the wine's overall elegance and balance. The co-fermentation of these two grape varieties, a traditional practice in the Côte Rôtie appellation, results in a wine that is simultaneously powerful and nuanced, with a captivating interplay of fruit, floral, and savory elements.
The 2009 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque is a wine of immense concentration, depth, and structure, making it an ideal candidate for extended cellaring. While already showing beautifully now, the wine will undoubtedly continue to evolve and gain complexity over the next 15 to 20 years, rewarding those with the patience to allow it to mature. If you choose to enjoy the wine now, decanting is highly recommended, as it will allow the wine to breathe and fully express its myriad nuances.
In terms of food pairings, the La Turque's rich and complex flavor profile lends itself well to a variety of dishes. Consider pairing it with grilled or roasted meats, such as lamb, beef, or game, accompanied by earthy, savory side dishes like wild mushrooms, truffle-infused risotto, or ratatouille. The wine's lush fruit and floral notes also make it a surprisingly good match for Asian-inspired dishes, such as seared duck breast with plum sauce or five-spice pork belly.
The 2009 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Turque is a truly exceptional wine, combining the power and intensity of the vintage with the elegance and complexity that have become the hallmark of this renowned single-vineyard cuvée. A testament to the skill and dedication of the Guigal family and the unique terroir of the Côte Rôtie appellation, the 2009 La Turque is a wine that will captivate and delight those fortunate enough to experience it for many years to come.■
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