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E. Guigal Ermitage Ex-Voto Rouge 2018  - First Bottle


98 Jeb Dunnuck -
Last of the 2018s, the 2018 Hermitage Ex Voto shows a riper, more sunny profile and has a killer nose of ripe blackberries, cassis, spice, game, woodsmoke, and bacon fat. The tannins from Hermitage always have a different feel from the Côte Rôtie releases, and this is full-bodied, with a refined, seamless mouthfeel, beautiful structure, and a great finish. The balance, as well as the purity, are just about off the charts. This is another magical 2018 from this team that flirts with perfection. Hide bottles for 7-8 years and enjoy over the following 30 years or more.
98 Vinous -
Inky ruby color. Ripe black and blue fruits, Moroccan spices, smoky bacon, incense, olive, candied flowers and licorice on the hugely perfumed nose. Alluringly sweet and penetrating in the mouth, offering palate-staining, mineral-driven cherry, blackberry, floral pastille and exotic spice flavors that are underscored by a core of juicy acidity. Lingers with outstanding tenacity on the youthfully tannic, almost endless finish, which leaves behind sappy dark berry, spice and floral notes. Drink: 2033-2046.
95-97 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Still in barrel, the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto continues to impress. Brown sugar notes accent cherries and raspberries on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is lush and expansive, delivering waves of pleasure on the mid-palate before ending long and silky.
96 James Suckling -
Intense aromas of cedar, bark, white smoke, blackberries and plums. Full-bodied and deep. So much here. Fine, velvety tannins are coated in layers of black fruit and berries with tar and gravel undertones. Dense and deep with real intensity. Superb. 42 months in barrel. This needs time for the fruit, tannins and wood to integrate but will age wonderfully. Best after 2026.

Technical Details

  • WinemakerPhilippe Guigal
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionRhone
  • Sub-RegionNorthern Rhone
  • AppellationHermitage
  • OakNew French oak
  • Aging/Cooperage42 Months
  • Alcohol14.5%

E. Guigal Ermitage Ex-Voto Rouge 2018

Syrah  |  France
JD98, VN98, WA95-97, JS96, JR18++

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“The balance, as well as the purity, are just about off the charts. This is another magical 2018 from this team that flirts with perfection.” – Jeb Dunnuck, 98 points

From the iconic Guigal winery that Jeb Dunnuck calls “one of the world’s greatest wine estates for over seven decades” and a wine that is only made in the VERY BEST vintages, with 98 POINTS – from both Vinous and Jeb Dunnuck, as well as heaps of other praise from critics everywhere...Northern Rhone doesn’t get much more collectible than this!

100% syrah, from vines up to 90 years old, and some of the tippy-top best plots of Hermitage Hill. If you know Guigal from their iconic and revered “La Las” wines from Côte Rôtie...well, EX-VOTO is their Ermitage flagship – and the fulfillment of a life-long dream for Marcel Guigal to have his own estate vines on the wine world’s most famous hill. For just over two decades, Guigal has made this wine – without question one of the finest examples of syrah, heck, of red wine from anywhere in the world – period.

Fresh drawn coffee, dusty chocolate, perfectly ripe blackberries, crisp plums, Tahitian vanilla, fresh cedar, lavender pastilles, heady violets, inky cassis, black olive tapenade, new leather, thick cut bacon, blueberry pie, black pepper, sweet smoke, kirsch, and just buttery smooth, ever-changing, ever-expanding, incredibly persistent, and explosive wine that lingers on, and on. Hyperbole is not possible...this is stunning. Aged for 42 months in new French oak, but neither oaky or sharp...just perfect. If this is the best wine I have tasted in all of 2024 – even only a few months in – I would not consider the year a failure. It’s that good.

The four Hermitage holdings of Les Bessards, Les Greffieux, Les Murets, and L’Ermite give their fruit to this wine – a combination of granite, glacial gravel, alluvial pebbles, sandy loam, and loess soil types, spread across various elevations, and all facing south to a great bend in the mighty Rhône river. Now, or thirty-plus years from now – this is a top, top wine to have in your collection. To snag some for hundreds less than the retail price? That’s just a cherry on top! Less than FOUR CASES available, friends! Don’t miss out!

PAIRING IDEAS: This is a perfect match for one of my oldest staples...seriously, I’ve turned multiple vegetarians with this dish. Rack of lamb, marinated in garlic, olive oil, and rosemary, then quickly seared with a bit of salt and pepper, and then finished with a brushing of dijon mustard and a rub of finely ground coffee, cumin, brown sugar, and sea salt. Roast it in the oven to finish to a medium-rare, then serve with fingerling potatoes and roasted carrots. [Chef’s kiss.]

About the Producer

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Cote-Rotie. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine for over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment. Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel's hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis Grippat estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage, as well as the Domaine de Vallouit in Cote-Rotie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. Produced from seven of the most exceptional plots of the domain, Chateau d?Ampuis is a classy wine with toasty aromas of black fruit. Its tannic structure and elegance contribute to its ageing potential.