Guigal   La Mouline   Cote Blonde

2005 La Mouline - Cote Blonde

By Guigal

The 2005 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal, Rhone

Comprehending the depth of the monumental 2005 vintage from the hallowed slopes of Guigal’s La Mouline is a task rivalled by few. It's like gazing into an endless star-studded sky; countless layers unravel with each quaff of this extraordinary Cote Blonde. And indeed, Guigal has always been a beacon in Rhone wine production.


Signature characteristics of an outstanding year

The 2005 La Mouline - Cote Blonde stands as a testament to what optimal vintage conditions in the Rhone Valley can accomplish. The growing season of 2005 was outstandingly consistent - free form capricious temperature swings, moderate rainfall and an extended, sun-kissed autumn. These factors converged to birth a vintage marked by remarkable balance and fruit concentration.

As with all exceptional Rhone vintages, the trick to achieving perfection is the artful reining of voluptuous Syrah fruit to embody finesse, rather than bombast. And Guigal has orchestrated this synergy masterfully with the 2005 La Mouline.


A notable entry to any investment portfolio

Packed into each bottle of this grand vintage is the promise of incredible evolution well into the future. A provocative mingling of dark fruit undercurrents, lavender and smoked meats unfurls on the palate, counterbalanced by an exhilarating acidity that lends vivacity to the age worthy structure. It’s a narrative in wine that is both momentous and compelling.

The 2005 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal holds robust investment potential given its striking flavour profile, profound depth and acclaimed aging capacity. A magnum opus among its kin, it's a fitting choice for those seeking all the glamour that Rhone vintages have to offer.

In conclusion, this majestic composition of terroir and unprecedented climatic conditions yields an exceptional embodiment of the classic Rhone blend. Investing in the 2005 La Mouline - Cote Blonde from Guigal is not merely a prudent financial decision, but a testament to taste that transcends time and place.

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Scores and tasting notes


Another ridiculous effort, the 2005 Cote Rotie la Mouline doesn’t pull any punches and is perfectly balanced, deeply concentrated and shockingly rich, with a seamless, elegant and silky character that’s to die for. Giving up notions of smoked beef, iron, spring flowers and thrilling black raspberry and blackberry fruit, this classic La Mouline has nothing out of place, beautiful purity and precision, and incredible length. More in the style of the 2010, it can be consumed anytime over the coming 2-3 decades. 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