Guigal   La Mouline   Cote Blonde

2002 La Mouline - Cote Blonde

By Guigal

2002 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal, Rhone, Rest of the World

From the heart of the Rhone region comes what can only be described as a tantalising vintage bursting with character. The 2002 La Mouline - Cote Blonde produced by Guigal, stands testament to the extraordinary fortitude of vines beneath a season of capricious weather. This seductive Syrah is a product of perseverance and artistry.


Rewriting the Rules, a Vintage Worth Your Investment

The celebrated 2002 season was characterized by erratic weather patterns, which pushed vintners to their limits and yet, remarkably, the famed Guigal house triumphed where others faltered. The 2002 La Mouline - Cote Blonde is a spectacular wine with an underdog origin story that adds richness to its provenance.

The first sip reveals a tapestry woven from threads of mulberries, blackcurrants and hints of spice. It then swoops into daring depth where dark cherry flavours resonate, underpinned by gentle laces of savoury black olive.


Resilience Under Unpredictable Weather: A Season that Crafted Legends

The 2002 season was fraught with unpredictable meteorological moods - a testament to global climate variances. Nevertheless, what emerged from such adversity was nothing short of exceptional.

Rhone witnessed the birth of sublime vintages like the 2002 La Mouline - Cote Blonde, where adversity stimulated complexity and originality in flavour profiles. These wines have grown increasingly endearing to astute collectors, understanding their intrinsic value - truly ones for the intelligent wine investor.

This wine possesses an inexhaustible depth and intensity—a feat attributed to the stoicism of the Syrah grape and the masterful hand of its producer. Echoing notes of summer fruits, intertwined with an earthy richness and seductive hint of spice, seal its reputation as an eloquent orator of the Rhone terroir.

Unforgettable, profound, and with a charisma that illuminates any cellar - this is more than a wine, it's a storied tribute to one 'off-piste' vintage year. These elements together commit to making the 2002 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal an irresistible addition for any serious investor looking to add a splash of Rhone radiance to their collection.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2002 Cote Rotie la Mouline is an elegant, perfumed and complex effort that gives up good richness and depth to go with classic aromas and flavors of smoked meats, dried flowers, incense and mature Syrah fruit. Incorporating only 5% Viognier due to botrytis (and capitalized), it nevertheless saw the standard four years in barrel prior to bottling. While 2002 was one of the most difficult vintages in recent memory, the quality here is a testament to this estate, and it’s a beautiful drink that should be consumed sooner rather than later. 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