Wine Advocate #163 (Feb 2006) Robert Parker (98-100) points Drink 2011-2056
The 2003 Hermitage Ex-Voto (fewer than 4,000 bottles produced) is one of the most profound red Hermitages ever made. Fashioned from some of Guigal’s favorite Hermitage parcels, Les Bessards (30%), Les Greffieux (30%), l’Hermite (20%), and Les Murets (20%), it is not as over the top as one might suspect (less than 15% alcohol), but it is off the charts in terms of richness, intensity, and full-bodied power. Amazing flavors of creme de cassis, black truffles, fudge, and earth are found in this superb, rich, profoundly great Hermitage. It should hit its peak in 5-7 years, and will last for a half century.
Marcel and Philippe Guigal, never content to rest on their already impressive credentials, announced that in the future, they expect to release another single vineyard Cote Rotie from a 3.7 acre parcel in the Viria vineyard on the Cote Brune. The first vintage or two will probably be added to the Chateau d’Ampuis. If the potential turns out to be as exceptional as they believe, lovers of these great wines will have a fourth single vineyard Cote Rotie called Viria to contemplate.
There are many admirable things about Marcel Guigal, but most significant is that he has been a qualitative locomotive that has brought attention to the Rhone Valley, and has raised the quality bar for the entire region. More importantly, he realizes that most consumers will have access only to his least expensive wines from the Cotes du Rhone, so he has made every effort to continue to increase the quality of both his white and red Cotes du Rhones. His Cotes du Rhone whites have jumped in quality as he has settled on a general blend of approximately 50% Viognier and the rest Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc, and Grenache Blanc.