Robert Parker 93
The 2011 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis has closed down slightly since last year, yet still offers a terrific perfume of cured meats, vanilla bean, sweet black currants and graphite to go with medium to full-bodied, ripe, sexy style on the palate. I doubt it will truly close down and would happily enjoy bottles anytime over the coming 15 or more years. One of the highlight tastings during my two weeks spent working in the northern Rhône was with Philippe and Marcel Guigal, who in this critic’s opinion, consistently fashion some of the greatest wines in the world. Looking at the 2011 Côte Rôties, which were bottled earlier this year, these are gorgeous wines that show the perfumed, sexy nature of the vintage; yet, they have more density, concentration and depth than just about every other wine from the vintage. Marcel characterized the vintage as charming and elegant, and while they’re insanely good even today, they’ll evolve gracefully and have broad drink windows. The 2012s should be bottled next year and this is another terrific vintage at this estate, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who follows the estate. The wines are already expressive, yet have more fat and texture than the 2011s, although maybe not the same level of focus or length. I suspect this is another vintage that will show nicely on release next year and age gracefully, with broad drink windows. The 2013s, in contrast, are inky, masculine, structured and not very much fun to taste at the moment. The extended elevage will help, but these will certainly be longer term prospects that will demand cellaring.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030
Vivid ruby. Spicy red fruits, incense, violet and botanical herbs on the flamboyantly perfumed nose. Vibrant, mineral-tinged black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show impressive depth and vivacity and a seamless texture. Juicy, precise and appealingly sweet on the youthfully tannic, incisive finish, with the berry and floral notes echoing. The blend of fruit intensity and tension here is quite suave.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2033