Tasted in components: #1, from Peleat: Vibrant red and dark berry character, along with intense floral and mineral nuances and silky texture. #2, from Beaume: Heady, smoke- and spice- accented dark berry and floral pastille qualities, plus a round, supple texture and repeating floral character on the back half. #3, from l'Ermite: More structured and powerful, showing intense dark fruit character and notes of olive and licorice that build with air. #4, from Le Méal: Exotic spices and candied flowers on the nose, along with bright red and dark berry qualities. Sappy and focused, displaying excellent depth and no excess weight. #5, from Bessards: Gorgeous, expressive floral pastille, incense and ripe dark berry scents and flavors. Weighty yet lithe, showing excellent focus and building sweetness. The final blend should be a beauty, combining dense, sweet red and dark berry fruit character and the freshness to buffer it. (JR)
Looking at the 2014 reds, the 2014 Hermitage is resting as a final blend and is scheduled to be bottled early next year. It has a serious floral character as well as the classic minerality imparted from the Bessards lieu-dit (which makes up the bulk of the cuvée), gorgeous depth of fruit, medium to full-bodied richness and fine, polished tannin. Like most 2014s, it will be approachable at an early age, but this beauty has class and will evolve gracefully. (JD)
This starts strong, with warm ganache, steeped fig and crushed blackberry flavors, then gains steam, picking up smoldering charcoal, bay leaf and juniper accents as this drives and expands through the finish. Offers a long echo of graphite, with the fruit keeping pace. Very impressive for the vintage. (JL)
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