“One of the world’s greatest wine estates” producing “some of the greatest wines money can buy” is how Jeb Dunnuck describes the Rhone Valley’s iconic Guigal estate. Founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal and holding prime vineyards all over the Rhône, the estate is maybe best known for their single vineyard “La-La” wines, La Mouline, La Turque, and La Landonne.
The care and attention Guigal give to their wines is not only reserved for the La-Las. Just a short drive south from Côte-Rôtie on the western banks of the Rhône River, the tiny appellation of Condrieu is home to some of the most distinctive wines found anywhere in France. Condrieu is the ancestral home of the Viognier vine, yet by the mid-20th century only 20 acres of Viognier remained in Condrieu, leaving the grape and the appellation in serious jeopardy. Guigal was instrumental in bringing this appellation back from near extinction and, since 1994, have been producing La Doriane, a powerhouse of a Condrieu white.
Sourced from five southeast-facing hillside parcels and aged in 100% new oak, this exotic wine is undoubtedly lavish and rich yet manages to remain impeccably balanced and never heavy.
Scoring a massive 99 points from Jeb Dunnuck, he says of this 2020 iteration, “just about pure perfection and one of the finest Condrieu to pass my lips”.
While world class wines often come with the caveat that patience and cellaring are recommended, all bets are off with the La Doriane as this showstopping wine is often best in its youth, there is no right or wrong time to pull the cork. Dunnuck states “I like this beast/beauty today, but it will keep for a decade”.
Avid Rhône collectors know the pedigree of this bottle and its 20+ year track record of high 90s scores, but the newly released 2020 La Doriane presents the perfect opportunity for those who have yet to experience a top flight Condrieu to get involved. Aside from its near-perfect score from Dunnuck, Guigal’s La Doriane offers really fantastic value for money at just £290/6 IB (lowest market price). This 99-point wine delivers a drinking experience that quite simply has very few peers at this price-point.
These wines are due in, in the summer.
Guigal La Doriane 2020 (6x75cl)
99 Points | Jeb Dunnuck
Just about pure perfection and one of the finest Condrieu to pass my lips, the 2020 Condrieu La Doriane offers an insane bouquet of grilled pineapple, charcoal, crushed stone, acacia flowers, and white peach. It picks up an incredible sense of salinity on the palate and is full-bodied, has blockbuster concentration, remarkable purity and focus, and a great finish. I like this beast/beauty today, but it will keep for a decade.
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