In today’s Northern Rhône Valley family domaines that are considered amongst the most prominent include Domaine E. Guigal – especially for their “La La” cuvées from Côtie-Rôtie, and Domaine J-L Chave for their Hermitage. Hermitage – the hill, and its wines – has been famous for centuries, as a sort of wine ‘medicine’ to improve Bordeaux wines in less good vintages (even some first growths), and later as the premier Rhône wine in its own right. Domaine J-L Chave, many believe, is the hill’s greatest classicist – combining its naturally powerful Syrah (red), Marsanne and Roussanne (white), with an approach at Chave that also delivers finesse. Oak typically sits in the background. The fame of Côte-Rôtie meanwhile is much more recent. Known to connoisseurs outside the region by the 1970s, it was really only in the 1980s, with high praise from critics like Robert Parker, and the Wine Spectator (and numerous 100-point scores), that a true international audience was developed. The domaine most sought after, the one that drove this reputation was (and still is) E. Guigal – especially the three tiny quantity (200-800 cases only per year each) cuvées – La Mouline, La Turque, and La Landonne. The style is quite different from Chave – more modern, with a clear oak component that integrates well as the wine ages.
A direct comparison between these two extraordinary domaines – both at the top of their game – is too tempting not to do! It reminds us of our recent direct comparison of DRC and Leroy – different styles, but it is hard to argue about the quality.
So, this evening Andy Tan and Linden Wilkie from The Fine Wine Experience will share with you their passion for these two great estates, and perhaps we will understand both styles better by having the chance to compare them side by side in the glass.
Wines to be served:
2009 Domaine J-L Chave Hermitage Blanc, in magnum (WA100)
2016 E. Guigal Condrieu 'La Doriane'
2005 Domaine J-L Chave Hermitage Rouge
2005 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie ‘La Mouline’ (WA100)
2001 Domaine J-L Chave Hermitage Rouge
2001 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie ‘La Mouline’
1999 Domaine J-L Chave Hermitage Rouge
1999 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie ‘La Turque’ (WA100)
1994 Domaine J-L Chave Hermitage Rouge
1994 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie ‘La Mouline’
1985 Domaine J-L Chave Hermitage Rouge
1983 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie ‘La Landonne’