Utterly profound in every way, the 2010 Hermitage les Bessards comes from the steepest, most rugged and "badass" part of Hermitage Hill, the broken granite soils of the les Bessards lieu-dit. Inky colored, thick and massively concentrated, it has sensational notes of liquid granite (the essence of granite!), smoked meats, scorched earth, currants and chocolate on the nose. Full-bodied, frighteningly concentrated, structured and backwards, it needs another decade of cellaring but will keep for half a century. (JD)
Typically Bessards, showing granite, smoke and smoky bacon on the nose. It's full but svelte, seamless on the palate with exceptionally smooth, slatey tannins, sufficiently ripe but still fresh and toothsome. Concentrated and inky black fruits sit alongside tea leaf and a touch of cigar tobacco. It's not massive, but very well balanced and intense, with a long, well-tailored finish. This is fairly tannic, so give it time. A polished, thoroughbred Hermitage. (MW)
Bright purple. Black and blue fruits, incense and candied violet on the heady, intensely perfumed nose. Sappy, penetrating and pure, its deep black raspberry and blueberry flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Stains the palate and shows uncanny precision for its power. Closes sweet and very long, with youthful tannins and resonating spice and floral pastille notes. (JR)
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