2018 e. guigal, hermitage, ex voto blanc
Why We're Buying
While Rhône is known for multi-layered wines, complexity isn't a prerequisite for greatness. Take E. Guigal Hermitage Ex Voto Blanc. The white wine features 90% marsanne and 10% roussanne. That's it. Investors pay more than $200 per bottle for this marsanne blend that wine critic Robert Parker gave 100-point ratings to in 2009 and 2010. (Fun Fact: E. Guigal also produces a red version of Ex Voto, which Parker has given three perfect scores.)
Built for the long haul, the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc is a majestic, noble white that could only come from this incredible, south-facing hillside in Hermitage. Revealing a light gold hue as well as notes of quince, honeyed minerality, toasted spices, orange marmalade, and spring flowers, this deep, rich, and full-bodied white has absorbed just about every trace of its oak élevage and has a concentrated, rich, yet focused and lengthy style. This cuvée had a more oaky, opulent style in the past, but today it comes across as a much more pure, elegant wine while not giving an inch with regard to density, texture, and concentration. As with just about every top Hermitage Blanc today, this offers plenty of immediate pleasure with its pure, fresh, mineral-laced style. Don't discount how much pleasure these wines can offer in their youth and always ignore the 'always too young' crowd. This 2018 is going to evolve gracefully and drink brilliantly for 5-7 years, then (maybe) go into a closed, almost oxidative stage, only to emerge after 5-7 years and evolve for decades. Drink: 2030-2050.