Recently, we were invited to attend a special birthday celebration for a special friend at his home along with about 50 other fortunate people, most of whom are also dear friends as well as being uber successful winemakers, retailers or in other aspects ITB.
The home itself was magnificent located high on a hill in a semi private neighborhood. It had expansive panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Valley and the valley side of the coastal mountains on a blue bird day that highlighted all of the vistas to behold prior to, during and after a marvelous sunset with ever changing shades of colors providing an almost surrealistic panoply of shapes, sizes and colors.
Greeted with NV Bollinger Grande Cuvee that was poured generously and graciously throughout the evening, we entered into the matrix of the home and I discovered 3 tasting stations our host had set up with extra special wines for all to sample along with a typed out review of the flights. Many of the wines were rare treasures and to taste them in the company of like and kind in verticals and other assorted lineups was an even greater treat.
While clinking glasses with an amazing compellation of wine passionate folks, I enjoyed many a taste and later on a cellar raid that went beyond what was already being gifted.
For simplicity sake, I`m reviewing the third of the 3 stations herein having already done the other 2 by way of separate documents.
Third Station: [I`m quoting the write up}
PERFECTION IN THE EYES OF MR. PARKER
4 Guigal Estate Wines
1999 Cote Rotie “La Mouline” 
1998 Cote Rotie “La Landonne” 
2003 Cote Rotie “ La Turque” 
2003 Ermityage Rouge Ex-Voto” 
The Northern Rhone represents the epitome of Syrah for some and these examples show the power and precision [and the modernity] of the house of Guigal. Each is raised for 42 months in new oak and bottled without filtration. La Mouline and La Turque contain varying amounts of Viognier [approximately 11 and 7% respectfully]. La Landonne and Ex-Voto are 100% Syrah. The dates in parenthesis represent the dates of the first vintage of the wine chez Guigal. Yes, RP gave them all `100`. But, the Guigals make wines to suit themselves; they have been making wine the same way since well before RP was practicing law.
1999 E. GUIGAL LA MOULINE COTE ROTIE- 89% Syrah, 11% Viognier; with amazing balance, this hit all of the sensory preceptors in the right way and made for a completely pleasing experience; the mouthfeel was silky smooth and the tasty spicy blue and black fruit hangs around all the way to the back end; the finish was forever; the WOW factor went up a couple of notches.
1998 E. GUIGAL LA LANDONNE COTE ROTIE- 100% Syrah, full on, full throttle complex and layered depth abound with this bottle; it makes a major statement of power and yet has surprising finesse and elegance; there are loads of bacon flavored blackberry, plum and black currant; still way young, the structure promises longevity for decades down the line.
2003 E. GUIGAL LA TURQUE COTE ROTIE- violets, bacon, leather and earth notes sing out in the nose and are joined by intense dark fruit flavors; it is full bodied, young and vibrant and a tease of the explosive characteristics that will develop and balance out; I had to sip it to get the true essence; otherwise, I would have blown out my palate;
2003 E. GUIGAL ERMITAGE EX-VOTO COTE ROTIE- 100% Syrah; big, rich and full bodied, this a serious wine with a lot of intensity and significant structure to take this for a long ride; among all of its treasures, dark chocolate covered black cherry and black currant prevail along with a nice spicy accent and then a hit of anise comes in late; it is so concentrated, a little sip will do ya; this is going to live longer than I will; definitely a big boy approaching puberty.
Beyond the 3 stations reported on, there were many other stellar cellar raided wines that were opened including a double mag of Special Selection Zinfandel from Sutter Home, bottles of 2002 Chapoutier Le Meal Ermitage, 1982 Rayas Chateau de Fonsalette Cote du Rhone with a price tag of $37.99 on it, a 1987 E. Guigal Chateau d`Ampuis Cote Rotie and a 1988 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley Syrah.
I took a brief taste of the above wines before we departed via an Uber pick up back to Santa Barbara.
Such a grand evening and one I shall cherish for years as I`m sure our birthday celebrant will embrace as well. I`ve always known him to be so gracious and he surely epitomizes the passion of sharing which is a hallmark of us wine geeks.