I was blown away by the 1999 Hermitage les Bessards, and I seriously considered adding another point or two to the score. One of the most complex, classic and multidimensional in the lineup, it offers lots of crushed rock-like minerality, smoked black fruits, spice and licorice aromas and flavors. These give way to a full-bodied, deeply concentrated, layered and perfectly balanced wine that had me wishing it was the end of the day so I could drink the whole glass. It's a gorgeous wine to enjoy anytime over the coming 15-20 years. (JD)
Old vines in the Les Bessards vineyard on the Hermitage hill have offered up a majestic wine that has considerable power. With its strong, firm tannins and intense, brooding dark fruits, this is a wine that has obviously been made to last. With little use of new wood for this wine (only 10%), the structure and the complexity come entirely from the enormously ripe fruit and traditional fermentation. (RV)
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