2018 Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc

Marsanne - 750ML
Reg: $224.94
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JD 100 DC 96 JS 95 WA 93
JD 100

jebdunnuck.com, March 2024

Absolute perfection in dry white wine, the 2018 Hermitage Ex Voto Blanc comes from two parcels on Hermitage (Les Murets and L'Ermite) and, I believe, spent 30 months or more in new French oak. This heavenly effort offers...
DC 96

Decanter, October 2020

Full-bodied and rounded, with firm acidity and salinity. The oak has taken over at this early stage and will always be quite dominant, however the fruit is deep and should harmonise with the wood in time. Very long and...
JS 95

jamessuckling.com, May 2023

A lovely perfumed nose of flint, grilled lemons, hay and pears. Full-bodied with silky texture. Deep and layered. Baked citrus and toasted garden herbs with some lovely notes of beeswax and sliced almond. Succulent. It...
WA 93

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, February 2022

The last time I saw the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc, it came across as opulent and fruit-forward. Now that it's in bottle (and scheduled to be released in February 2022), it's less tropical, showing more restraint and...


Color & Type White
Varietal Marsanne
Country France
Region Rhone
Sub-region Northern Rhone
Appellation Hermitage
Vintage 2018
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 14%
Closure Cork

The Guigal Estate was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, a small ancient village and cradle of the Cote-Rotie appellation. It shelters a unique vineyard where the vines and the wines have been famous for 2,400 years. Arriving in the region in 1924 at the age of 14, Etienne began his career at Vidal-Fleury, participating in its development and working his way up to the position of cellar-master before leaving to establish his own company. He has vinified 67 harvests in Cote-Rotie.

In 1961, although still very young, Marcel Guigal took over management of the establishment from his father who was stricken suddenly with total blindness. In 1973, his wife Bernadette joined him and they worked together to develop the family business. In 1975, their son Philippe was born and is today the estate’s winemaker. With his wife Eve, he represents the third generation to continue the family business, in the service of the great wines of the Rhone Valley.

Their hard work and perseverance enabled them to purchase the Vidal-Fleury Establishment in the mid ‘80s and in 1995, they acquired the famous Chateau d’Ampuis, an ancient fort built in the 12th century, later repurposed into a Renaissance chateau during the 16th century. In a state of neglect and terrible disrepair, Guigal has taken on a colossal renovation, spanning nearly 11 years with over 100 people working on the project.

The Chateau d’Ampuis has become the headquarters of the Guigal Estate while the offices and the cellars remain in the ancient small village of Ampuis. While their vineyards span the length and breadth of what the Rhone Valley offers, the heart of the winery’s production is still Cote-Rotie, whose ultimate expression can be found in Guigal’s most famous releases: La Landonne, La Turque, and La Mouline.

The 2018 Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc is a white wine made from the Marsanne grape, originating from the Hermitage appellation in Northern Rhone, France. This wine, produced by Guigal, is known for its complexity and aging potential. With a 14.0% alcohol content, it is sealed with a traditional cork closure.

The wine has received high praise from several professional reviewers. Jeb Dunnuck awarded it a perfect score of 100, calling it "absolute perfection in dry white wine" and highlighting its "off-the-charts array of quince and stone fruits as well as subtle brioche, white flowers, spice, and orange blossom-like nuances." He commends its "massive, concentrated, and powerful" palate, noting its "seamless and flawlessly balanced" nature, adding that it has "no hard edges, perfect integration of its acidity and oak, and a great, great finish."

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave the wine a score of 93, observing that it has evolved from its initial opulent and fruit-forward character to display "more restraint and (perhaps) greater aging potential." Reviewer Joe Czerwinski notes the presence of "toasted grain, lime custard, and scorched lemon zest" on the nose, with the palate delivering "notes of toasted marshmallow and a heavily textured, slightly coarse texture" that finishes long.

James Suckling rated the wine 95 points, describing it as having a "lovely perfumed nose of flint, grilled lemons, hay, and pears." He points out its "full-bodied" nature and "silky texture," with "deep and layered" flavors that include "baked citrus and toasted garden herbs," along with "lovely notes of beeswax and sliced almond." Suckling remarks on its "succulent" quality and notes that it "keeps going."

Decanter rated the wine 96 points, describing it as "full-bodied and rounded, with firm acidity and salinity." The review mentions that the oak is dominant at this early stage but should harmonize with the deep fruit over time, resulting in a wine with very long aging potential. It concludes with flavors of "butterscotch and quince," highlighting the strong influence of the 100% new oak barriques used in its élevage.

Overall, the 2018 Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc is a highly regarded Marsanne with significant aging potential. Reviewers praise its complexity, balanced integration of flavors, and long finish, making it a notable choice for enthusiasts of fine white wines.