Always the earliest-ripening portion of the Chapoutier holdings on the Hermitage hill, the 2017 Ermitage le Méal is a complete standout. Crème de framboise notes remain fresh and lively throughout, joined by hints of blueberry, baking spices and vanilla, while the tannins are silky, the mouthfeel generous and the overall impression is one of great seductiveness and elegance. (JC)
Pure blackberry: the fruit, the bush and the leaf. It displays an intriguing spiciness too that's not entirely oak-derived. This is full and broad in the mouth, very concentrated, but it has a strong sense of freshness and an adequate balancing acidity. It's stuffed with pliable, ripe tannin and mouth-coating extraction – this will be a very long-lived Le Méal wine. Exceptionally long finish. Made from 70-year-old Syrah vines planted on a high alluvial terrace at 150-200m altitude, lieu-dit Le Méal. Yields of 25 hl/ha. Completely destemmed, fermented in concrete; 50% is matured for 18 months in large wooden tank, 50% in demi-muid, 25% of which is new oak. Drinking window: 2025-2055. (MW)
The 2017 Ermitage Le Méal was backward and closed, which is rare for this wine, yet has classy and complex notes of black raspberries, toasted spices, graphite, game, and flowery incense-like nuances. Full-bodied, silky, and flawlessly balanced...
A showy expression with very fresh and exotic aromas of red and white cherries, peaches, oranges and plums, as well as dark chocolate and a swathe of spices. The palate is so appealing, offering really fleshy, succulent and sweet, ripe dark plums and chocolate and very glossy, gossamer tannins. So polished. Very long. Best from 2025.
Dark purple. Deeply pitched, smoke- and mineral-tinged cassis, cherry liqueur, incense and violet aromas show outstanding clarity and a touch of candied flowers. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated black/blue fruit preserve, floral pastille and licorice flavors, along with suggestions of black cardamom and smoky bacon. The extremely long, chewy finish features bright mineral cut, intense blue fruit character and firm, youthfully tannic grip. (JR)
This bristles with youthful, energetic loganberry, black currant and black cherry fruit flavors, while notes of bramble, fresh bay leaf, violet and warm humus form the backdrop. Everything knits through the finish, where a graphite accent kicks in. Best from 2023 through 2038. (JM)
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