Philippe Guigal @ Ritz Tokyo |4.22.16|

The most extraordinary night, an opportunity to talk with known oenologist Mr. Philippe Guigal the well-respected wine maker from Chateau Ampuis in the Rhone Valley. Listening to Philippe you understand he is the consummate professional, and he has excellent skills to communicate and express his family’s passion for wine making.

There is no doubt that Guigal’s Brune et Blonde is amazing, a signature wine of the region, and when you drink his Cote du Rhone Rouge or Blanc, you begin to understand how a family is so very dedicated to offering quality.

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Most impressive is the Guigal’s family style business operations and their passion for making wines. Philippe and his wife Eve convey a clear message of dedication to wine, people and their passion. The variety of wines are amazing, you have a broad selection of appellation wines up to their single vineyards La Mouline, la Turque and La Landonne.

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The dinner was at the Ritz hotel, located in Roppongi and the evening was a selection of wines from the Rhone Valley served with French cuisine from the signature restaurant on the 45th floor named Azure 45.

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Awarded with one Michelin star by Michelin Guide Tokyo 2016, the Chef de Cuisine is Shintaro Miyazaki, a cordial and lively person.

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The menu included blanc manger pork belly induced more by Irish “little rock” carraigín as the texture was dense, rich and creamy. I am not sure I understood this dish, however the first wine as described by Philippe was a Crozes hermitage blanc 2012 that helped cut through the “gras” of this dish.

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The wines were extraordinary, including a special magnum of 1990 Homage a Cote Rotie dedicated to Etienne Guigal the founder of Guigal estate. This wine is directly from the guigal’s private stock, a red wine that has never been sold and is only used by the family for special events. This wine was elegant and perfectly ready, it had the most incredible silky tannins and fruit that is steady and long on the finish. The fruit lingers on and on /wow/

(97 Points)

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The wines were flowing and the food kept coming as the evening settled into a a wonderful gathering of Japanese from all walks of life. It never seems to amaze me how dedicated Japanese people are when it comes to their wines.

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The wines were superb and the line up incredible of people and wines all in the grand setting of the Ritz over looking Tokyo at night.

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Wine #1: Crozes hermitage blanc 2012 is a wine I haven’t tried recently but developed a new sense of appreciation for this white. It is crisp and still has the minerality and fruit balance to make a perfect seafood wine. (94 Points)

Wine #2: Condrieu 2013 is a very rewarding vintage and the wine expression is what I enjoy in Condrieu. (95 Points)

Wine #3: Saint Joseph 2012 is a wine that I enjoy to drink and this vintage is very good.
(93 Points)

Wine #3: Hermitage Blanc 2010 was so perfumed and had an excellent expression with a honey suckle finish and good length. (95 Points)

Wine #4: Magnum Brune Blonde 2005 was superb and blew my socks off. It has the charcter I adore in the Rhone and there is no other wine that I can think of that is as good when it comes to Brune and Blonde. (96 Points)

Wine #5: La Turque 2008 is really much better than I thought as the vintage was difficult. The wine is pure, deep and the flavours linger on. (95 Points)

Wine #6. 1990 Hommage a Etienne Guigal is an extraordinary wine, that is elegant and perfectly ready. It had the most incredible silky tannins and fruit that is steady and long on the finish. The fruit lingers on and on /wow/ (97 Points)