E. Guigal Côte Rôtie Brune et Blonde 2016
Opaque, shimmering magenta. Potent, smoke-accented aromas of cherry, dark berry preserves, exotic spices and pungent flowers, along with hints of bacon fat and savory herbs. Deeply concentrated yet lively in style, offering intense black raspberry, cherry-cola and violet pastille flavors that deepen slowly on the back half. Displays emphatic floral thrust, a jolt of spiciness and rounded, even tannins on the impressively long, penetrating finish. This is an excellent rendition of this bottling, which is widely available and delivers outstanding value in the context of top-drawer Côte-Rôtie. I mentioned this to Phillipe Guigal and he pointed out that it has always been the family's flagship wine, so its calling card, "which makes it really important that it be as good as possible."
Bottled just a few weeks prior to my visit, the 2016 Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde is a classic, typical representation of the appellation and the vintage. It's wiry and lithe, fresh and vibrant, with intriguing herbal-floral nuances and tart red fruit flavors. Medium to full-bodied, it's silky and charming already, with the ability to drink well for up to a decade.
The 2016 Côte Rôtie Brune Et Blonde is more elegant and seamless, which is the style of the vintage. Pretty notes of cassis, flowers, wet granite, and hints of peppery herbs all flow to a medium to full-bodied Côte Rôtie that has fine tannins and outstanding balance. It's a beautiful, classic wine from the vintage to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years.