I discovered Guigal's CdR with the '90 vintage and really fell in love with it over the '91 vintage. It was the first wine that became a year in, year out case purchase for me and that lastest most of the way through the 90's, skipping only 97 and buying a lot of 98. Not all vintages were equal, but all were good and with enough of them I could dispense with the more fragile ones earlier in their lives and hold the more robust vintages for later. I recall how often I'd go into the cellar with some big wine on my mind and come back with one of those Guigals instead--warm, earthy, and you could pair it with anything.
I skipped the 2000 but picked up where I left off with the 2001. As before I didn't pretaste or wait for reviews, I just bought a case. They'd never let me down before, and 2001 was a splendid vintage, right?
Right, but the 2001s suck anyway. The 01 which bears no resemblance to past vintages. It is inky purple-black in color and tannic, and has zero flavor of grenache. No red berries, no warm earth. Two bottles so far a year or so apart were identical and not enjoyable to drink.
I was reminded of this by a post by a Vancouver friend about an '83 which he recently enjoyed. It was still chugging along, quite acceptable and possibly even very good. Certainly very good for a wine of it's caliber and age. Now I know many who enjoyed the Guigals in the 80's and claimed the 90's were so much lesser. I don't know that difference, only that the 90's were great little wines for about $8.
What I don't know is if the 2001 ushered in yet another new decade of change in Guigal wine or if the vintage was just a one-off sucky vintage. The wines used to get mentioned frequently by fans new and old, but I haven't seen tasting note one on 02, 03 or 04, nor have I even seen the newer vintages in stores. It's like it disappeared from the planet.
So I wonder what's happened to it recently. Can anyone shed any light?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov