Lastly, the 2015 Ermitage L’Ermite offers that classic, searing granite/ozone-laced bouquet of crème de cassis, liquid rocks, graphite, and lead pencil. More tight, focused and backward than the Pavillon, it's no less impressive and is pure, full-bodied, massively concentrated and focused. It’s another monumental wine from Michel Chapoutier that needs to be forgotten for 8-10 years and will have 40-50 years of prime drinking. Enough can’t be said about the quality coming from this estate and these 2015s are certainly a match for what was achieved in 2009 and 2010. I wish every reader could taste these majestic, magical wines.
My pick of Chapoutier's 2015 Ermitage bottlings on this occasion was the 2015 Ermitage l'Ermite. It just edged out the other wines for its incredible purity of cassis fruit, indelible intensity and massive concentration. Size doesn't matter if the other elements aren't there, but this wine is complex, balanced and long, a true tour de force. Hints of crushed stone, peppery spice and grilled meat are in the background right now, partially submerged under the waves of fruit and ripe tannins, so give it a decade or so to shed some of that puppy fat and reveal its true nature. (JC)
This sports some warm, inviting fruit, with layers of boysenberry, fig and blackberry compote rolling through, inlaid with melted black licorice and warm fruitcake flavors, all backed by a long, refined echo of minerality on the finish. Mouthwatering acidity and a flash of savory add extra cut and length. A stunning wine that will require significant cellaring. Best from 2020 through 2045. (JM)
Dark purple. Expansive aromas of dark fruit preserves, incense, black pepper, violet and spicecake, joined by hints of olive and cola that build in the background. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering wonderfully concentrated yet energetic black and blue fruit and violet pastille flavors that are lifted and brightened by a smoky mineral flourish. Chewy and appealingly sweet on the strikingly long, floral-dominated finish, which is framed by youthful, steadily building tannins (JR)
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