The awesome 1999 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree flirts with perfection. It is full-bodied, with an incredible bouquet of liquid minerals, licorice, honeysuckle, citrus, and a hint of tropical fruits. One-hundred percent new oak aging has been completely absorbed by the wine's fruit and glycerin. This is a winemaking tour de force, made from exceedingly low yields of 12-15 hectoliters per hectare (less than one ton of fruit per acre). However, readers should understand that these are often unusual wines to drink because they tend to show exceptionally well for 4-5 years after bottling, then close up until about age 12. They can last for 4-5 decades. (RP)
Kind of a strange wine, the 1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc L'Orée is brilliant at times, hard and slightly alcoholic at others. This shows a beautiful light gold color as well as big, rich aromatics of waxy, honeyed fruits, creme brulee, lemon pledge and smoke notes. The palate is full bodied, rich and with a viscous, almost thick texture; this is seriously concentrated and at its best, seams seamless, silky and amazingly long. I drank this over multiple days though and you never knew what you were going to get.
The name refers as much to the brilliant green-gold color of this wine as to its richness. A tiny production from selected parcels of old Marsanne vines, this is a beautifully rich, creamy wine with a touch of honey and flavors of ripe pears. (RV)
More wonderful quality from Hermitage's white vineyards. A subtle, but rich and flavorful, white that's not too alcoholic, just perfectly balanced, with ripe fruit and mineral notes combining nicely on the lingering finish.
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