Similar in style to the hedonistically-styled Cuvee de l’Orée (especially when compared to the structured, mineral-laced l’Ermite), the 2014 Ermitage le Méal Blanc (aged in 10% new demi-muids) offers layers of celery seed, brioche, caramelized pineapple and citrus oil on the nose. Thick, rich, voluptuous and full bodied with a massive finish, drink this sensational white anytime over the coming two to three decades. Looking at the 2014 whites from Michel Chapoutier, these are gorgeous wines that show the suppler, more elegant style of the vintage, yet still have thick, unctuous textures that keep you coming back to the glass. The level of concentration this estate is able to achieve, even in these more difficult vintages, is truly remarkable. (JD)
Pale gold. Vibrant, minerally and sharply focused on the highly perfumed nose, displaying an array of ripe citrus and orchard fruit aromas and deeper fig and honey qualities. Sappy and incisive on the palate; a vibrant mineral quality gives lift to the flavors of bitter pear skin, tangerine and honeysuckle. Deftly melds power and finesse, the mineral and floral component dominating the very long, seamless finish. (JR)
A rich, enticing style, with creamed pear, melon and apple fruit flavors. Lightly toasted hazelnut and matchstick hints weave through the finish, with a mirabelle plum note lingering longest. Drink now through 2027. (JM)
Cask sample. Marsanne at very low yields. Heady, pungent, super-rich nose. Lightly reductive nose. Does this signify a little change in winemaking? Michel C says it’s a terroir effect. Super-crunchy fruit and a little chew on the end. Such is the weight that this wine seems more open at the moment than the Granits Blanc. Some limestone and loess. Floral and apparently a little sweet. 18/20 points (JR)
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