What I love of the Hong Kong Wine Society tastings are the amazing opportunities it offers to taste and learn about some pretty fascinating wines. Driven by the intense passion of its members who sometimes take years to prepare them, the tastings are fascinating in terms of their breath and depth of experience.
This week, we had the chance to taste E. Guigal's Brune & Blonde from several quite old vintages. Thanks to Nigel Bruce who actually put together this tasting by attending several auctions around Hong Kong in the past years.
Here below is the list of the wines tasted. They are listed according to the ranking that our group assigned to each of these wines. You will notice that one fot eh wine, a Jasmin, was intentionally put into the flight in order to experience a stylistic difference.
1- E.Guigal, Cotes Brune Et Blonde, Cote Rotie 1983
2- R. Jasmin, Cote Rotie 1982
3- E.Guigal, Cotes Brune Et Blonde, Cote Rotie 1988
4- E.Guigal, Chateau D' Ampuis, Cote Rotie 1996
5- E.Guigal, Cotes Brune Et Blonde, Cote Rotie 1984
6- E.Guigal, Chateau D' Ampuis, Cote Rotie 2004
7- E.Guigal, Chateau D' Ampuis, Cote Rotie 1995
8- E.Guigal, Cotes Brune Et Blonde, Cote Rotie 1991
9- E.Guigal, Cotes Brune Et Blonde, Cote Rotie 1979
10- E.Guigal, Brune Et Blonde De Guigal, Cote Rotie 2001
My favourite was the 1983. Amazing wine. The color was a moderately deep garnet with a narrow orange rim. Beautifully bright. The bouquet, amazing. Suave, with delicate dried berry fruits, autumn leaves, exotic spices, slightly gamey and smoky. Very complex, very finely interwoven. The palate was striking among the others in that, for its age, it had weight. A beautiful balance. Supple, silky, and round. Beautiful spiciness, and floral notes on a very long finish.
The 1988 almost got my vote as number 1. In the end, it is the weight and suppleness of the '83 that swayed me. But it was just as stunning. In different way: Deep garnet with a narrow pale rim. Wonderful bouquet of dried flowers and berry fruits. A touch balsamic & spicy, but just. Here, the delight was definitely the dried floral quality. Delicate, yet so complex. It was silky and supple. Beautiful finish much the same as the bouquet.
What i learned from this tasting was that for me, aged Syrah reminds me more of aged Pinot Noir than Bordeaux of the same age. Whereas Bordeaux are more cedary & cedar box, these wines were more earthy, and autumn leaves in character.
What about the Jasmin, I hear someone say? Well, it was clearly different than the others. It had a minty, earthy quality unlike all of the Guigal's. The tannins were also a little less elegant. In any case, an interesting wine. Certainly long & complex in its own way.
A wonderful tasting...