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2003 E. Guigal Cote-Rotie Brune et Blonde

Removed from a temperature and humidity controlled wine storage unit; Purchased at retail

Ends Sunday, 7pm Pacific

RATINGS

92Wine Spectator

Still tight, but this has a real solid core of muscular fig paste, currant, tobacco, black olive and iron notes, followed by a long, well-structured finish.

92Vinous / IWC

Powerful, superripe aromas of kirsch, blackcurrant and chocolate, complemented by exotic spices and licorice. Rich, creamy and dense, with sweet red and dark fruit flavors framed by chewy tannins.

90-92Robert M. Parker Jr.

A sumptuously-textured, rich, full-throttle effort, it possesses loads of smoky bacon fat-infused black currant and herb-tinged fruit, good body, and a heady, concentrated finish.

17Jancis Robinson

Heady and concentrated. Really rich - almost gamey.

REGION

France, Rhône Valley, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

The Northern Rhône Valley wine region hugs the Rhône River from Vienne in the north to Valence at its southern tip. The French call the region Côtes du Rhône Septentrionales, and it is divided into eight appellations. Along with its neighbor to the south, the Southern Rhone Valley, it is famous for its big, tannic, intensely concentrated wines. Syrah is the only red grape permitted in AOC wines from this sub-region, though the Syrah can be blended with the white wine grapes Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne, depending on the regulations for each AOC. White wines are made from Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Of the eight appellations in the north, the most admired wines tend to come from Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Hermitage, though there are certainly exceptional wines to be found in St. Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, St.-Peray, Crozes-Hermitage and Cornas. Along with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, Rhône wines are among France’s best known and most collected wines. Red wines from these appellations are notable for their signature aromas of bacon and green olives, and for their depth. Robert M. Parker, a great champion of Rhone wines, has written that “the northern Rhône produces three of the greatest wines in the world – the white wines of Condrieu and the red wines of Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage.”

TYPE

Red Wine, Syrah (Shiraz)

This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.