A wine that flirts with perfection is the inky and opaque 2009 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes. Coming from L'Ermite, le Sabot, and Les Bessards, and aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels, it gives up a heavenly bouquet of crushed rocks, blackberries, leather, wild herbs and earth. Massively concentrated on the palate, with another level of fruit and texture over the 2010, it has brilliant purity, building tannin and a blockbuster finish. There's enough tannin here to warrant hiding in the cellar for 4-5 years, but it should last for 3-4 decades. (JD)
Ripe and flashy, with lots of roasted fig, plum and blackberry fruit, though it's held in check for now by muscular ganache, maduro tobacco and freshly roasted espresso notes. Very grippy on the finish, but fine acidity is buried deep, boding well for the cellar. (JM)
Inky purple. Deeply pitched aromas of cherry and cassis, with licorice and black pepper nuances adding complexity. Chewy and dense, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors lifted by a spicy note on the back half. Finishes with gentle tannic grip and persistent spice and smoke notes. Give this masculine, brawny wine at least a few more years of bottle age. (JR)
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