Guigal   La Mouline   Cote Blonde

2000 La Mouline - Cote Blonde

By Guigal

2000 La Mouline - Cote Blonde by Guigal, Rhone

One swish of the 2000 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal paints a vivid tapestry of this remarkable year in the Rhone. Often viewed as one of the pivotal vintages for Syrah in this region, the 2000 vintage stands out for pushing boundaries in terms of complex, full-bodied character, coupled with exceptional ageing potential - a cornerstone characteristic sought after by fine wine investors.


A Masterpiece Born Out of Terroir and Time

The 2000 La Mouline - Cote Blonde reflects an unmatched constellation of climatic conditions and exquisite terroir present within Rhone's vineyards. Unusually for this region, it escaped any unseasonable frosts or hail, leading to healthy grapevines that offered stunning fruit, blessed with an extraordinary balance between acidity and sweetness.

This deep ruby elixir is a sublime artwork encapsulating all the elements that make the Rhone Valley a wine utopia. The bouquet greets you with deep profiles of plum and black cherry, backed up by sensual undertones of earthy truffle and exotic spice. The palate continues this wondrous journey with revealing layers of persistent flavour showcasing dark fruits and notes of coffee, leather and lingering minerality hinting at its prestigious terroir.


An Investment Worthy Vintage

As with all great wines, exceptional vintages do more than delight the senses - they also promise great returns on investment. And the 2000 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal is exactly such a prospect. The age-worthy nature of this wine combined with limited availability has resulted in high market demand for this investable vintage, promising a secure and profitable place in any fine wine portfolio.

In the world of Rhone Valley Syrah and the storied annals of its producers, few shine as bright as the 2000 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal. A testament of time, terroir and meticulous craftsmanship, it heralds a vintage that was remarkable for its uniqueness and quality. This is not just wine; it is poetry in a bottle; an ode to the artistry of winemaking and the magic ingredient: time.

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The 2000 Cote Rotie la Mouline is an open, evolved and semi-mature example of this cuvee that has classic aromatics, full-bodied richness and no hard edges on the palate. Drinking beautifully now, with a ripe, open style, I’d plan on opening bottles over the coming decade, although I suspect it will last longer. One of the reference point estates for top quality wines in the world today, the family run Guigal operation was created in 1946 by Etienne Guigal. Today, Etienne’s son, Marcel, and his son Philippe, are firmly in control here, and are without a doubt producing some of the most singular, sought after wines in the world. Due to the size of this tasting, I’ll keep my comments short, but the incredible quality coming from this operation is astounding, and a tasting here is always one of the highlights of any trip through the region. Furthermore, while a lot is said about the extended oak aging regime here, I don’t know anyone who tastes mature examples of these wines on a regular basis that still has any doubts about the genius going on here. In short, these single vineyard (and their blends as well) Cote Roties are some of the greatest wines money can buy. For this tasting (which, with the Guigals, is always a large one!), we focused on their Saint Joseph Vignes des Hospice release, and then three of their Cote Roties, starting with the classic Brune et Blonde, then the Chateau d’Ampuis, and finishing with their single vineyard La Mouline. Looking first at their Saint Joseph Vignes des Hospices release, it comes all from the incredibly steep (and picturesque) vineyard perched just above the town of Tournon. The exposure here (which is critical for Saint Joseph as the more southern facing the plot, the warmer the site is) is mostly east facing and the soils are pure granite (identical to the decomposed granite found in the Les Bessards lieu-dit on Hermitage Hills). Compared to the Saint Joseph lieu-dit, which has a slightly more southern exposure, harvest here is always 5-7 days later. Moving north to Côte Rôtie, the Guigal’s Brune et Blonde is their entry level release that comes from a mix of vineyards, most of which are estate. It drinks beautifully on release and has a solid 15-20 years of longevity in top vintages. Stepping up over the Brune et Blonde, the Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis is named after the Chateau d’Ampuis estate (which lies in the town of Ampuis, right up along the Rhone River, and was purchased by the Guigal’s in 1995) and is a blend of their top estate vineyards. Coming from La Garde, Le Clos, Grande-Plantee, Pommiere, Pavillon, Le Moulin and La Viria, it spends close to four years in new French oak (handled just like the single vineyard releases) and there’s roughly 30,000 bottles produced in each vintage. While the single vineyard releases get all the buzz, this is isn’t far behind in quality, especially in recent vintages, and can represent an incredible value. We finished the tasting with a vertical of La Mouline. One of the three single vineyard Cote Roties produced, this cuvee comes all from the La Mouline lieu-dit that’s located in the more western (close to the middle actually) side of appellation. For simplicities sake, you could say it’s in the Cote Blonde part of the region, but in reality, Cote Rotie is much more complex and diverse. Due to its exposure, this vineyard is always the first of the three single vineyards to be harvest, and also contains some of the oldest vines on the estate. Fermented using pump overs (as opposed to punch downs for the La Torque and submersion cap on the La Landonne), it’s cofermented with varying degrees of Viognier, which in most vintages, ends up being around 10% of the blend. Like the Chateau d’Ampuis and the other two single vineyard releases, it sees close to four years in 100% new French oak, of which every trace integrates after a few years in bottle. It’s always the most approachable of the single vineyard releases, and is ready to drink at an earlier stage. For example, the 1999 La Mouline is gloriously mature, while the 1989 La Torque is still an infant. Nevertheless, as the 1978 reviewed here attests to, it has no problem evolving for decades (although I don’t recommend holding bottles that long). In short, this was a flight of Côte Rôties I’ll not forget anytime soon! Importer: Vintus Wines, Pleasantville, NY; tel. (914) 769-3000

Jeb Dunnuck - The Wine Advocate, 27 August 2014

Vintage performance