Côte Rôtie La Turque, Etienne Guigal 2003

RegionRhône
SubregionCote Rotie
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Tasting Notes

A pure aromatic smorgasbord is offered by the 2003 Cote Rotie La Turque, which has an amazing aromatic profile of espresso coffee interwoven with scorched earth, tar, truffle, incense, blackberry, bacon fat, and flowers. Powerful, thick flavors ooze across the palate with a viscous texture, amazing purity, and just enough acidity and tannin to give uplift and precision to this remarkable tour de force in winemaking. Of the 2003s, this is also approachable, but ideally 2-5 years of cellaring would be suggested, and the wine will evolve for at least 30 more years.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

The 2003 Cote Rotie La Turque reveals an incredible nose of incense, black truffles, blackberries, espresso roast, roasted meats, melted road tar, tapenade, and bacon. A meaty, full-bodied, extraordinarily concentrated wine with a viscous texture, a remarkable finish, and even more tannin and body than La Mouline, it requires 4-5 years of cellaring, and should drink well over the following 30+.

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.

Score: 99/100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (163), February 2006

This is a prodigious effort that may eclipse any other vintage Guigal has ever produced! It possesses similarities to the 1999, but it is even higher in alcohol, more unctuously textured, thicker, and longer. Encapsulate the character of this single vineyard in a top year, add more depth, intensity, alcohol, and power, and this describes this freakishly rich 2003. It will be released after spending 42 months in 100% new oak casks, so consumers will have to wait until 2008 to purchase this stupendous gem. This 2003 is literally off the charts, as are many of the northern Rhones in this vintage. La Turque should last 30-35 years. This is the stuff of modern day legends. As for what it actually tastes like, just take my notes for any of the great vintages and add more power, glycerin, alcohol, tannin, and concentration ... that about defines this 2003!

Score: 99/100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (156), December 2004

I’ve always loved the 2003s from the Guigal family and the 2003 Cote Rotie la Turque has yet to ever disappoint. An incredible perfume of smoked herbs, charred meats, violets, licorice and blackcurrants gives way to a huge, unctuous, powerful Cote Rotie that has masses of ripe, sweet tannin, full-bodied richness and a finish that just won’t quit. Enjoy this heavenly elixir over the coming 2-3 decades.

Score: 100Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (228), December 2016

Getting a few expletives in my notes, the 2003 Cote Rotie La Turque is more structured and powerful, with a youthful purple color giving way to meaty, bloody characteristics that are intermixed with creme de cassis, roasted meats, licorice and leather. Full-bodied, seamless and layered, with incredible depth, purity and texture, it needs a few more years over the La Mouline to fully stretch out, but will have three decades or more when all is said and done.

Robert Parker has been singing the praises of the wines of Marcel and Philippe Guigal for years now, and I'm happy to pick up the torch going forward. In 2003, harvest here occurred between the August 21 and 31, with yields down over 60%. The wines took five weeks to ferment dry, were never acidified, and spent roughly 48 months in new oak prior to bottling. What comes out of the bottle now is sheer magic.

Score: 100Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014

Incredibly dense and concentrated, with a polished layer of mocha-infused toast pushed by blackberry, black currant, black tea and dark olive flavours. Has tremendous power, but is also suave, with sweet, exotic fruit notes that linger on the long fleshy finish. Best from 2010 through 2030.

 James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com, July 2007

Incredibly dense and concentrated, with a polished layer of mocha-infused toast pushed by blackberry, black currant, black tea and dark olive flavors. This has tremendous power, but is also really suave, with sweet, exotic fruit notes that linger endlessly on the long, fleshy finish. Leaves an almost dehydrated impression. Best from 2010 through 2030.

Score: 98James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com, May 2007

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.