More bloody meat, black raspberries, wood smoke, spice, and truffle notes emerge from the 2017 Hermitage Le Méal, a massive, opulent effort that has loads of opulence and fruit, building tannins, a gorgeous mid-palate, and a monster finish. It's one of the finest wines I've tasted from this estate! It’s already approachable yet promises to evolve gracefully for 20-25 years or more. 98+
From south-exposed vines in lieu-dit Le Meal, the fruit is all destemmed and fermented in concrete, then aged for up to 18 months in barrel, on average around 40% new. This wine is dark and brooding in style, with charcoal-laced blackberry fruits. It's full-bodied but not massive, with real energy and drive. It's highly spiced and overly oaky, but rapier-like acidity helps to keep things dynamic. It's almost unbearably powerful at this stage, but not stodgy, and it has a long, tapered finish. (MW)
Polished and stylish, with a velvety feel to the waves of plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit that glide through, carried by well-embedded notes of loam, ganache and tobacco. Solidly built, showing ample grip for the cellar, but seamlessly integrated, with the fruit holding the upper hand through the finish. (JM)
Expansive aromas of ripe black/blue fruits, incense, violet, mocha and black pepper show superb clarity and mineral lift. Sappy, sweet and energetic on the palate, offering deeply concentrated, spice-laced blackberry, cherry preserve, blueberry, floral pastille and bitter chocolate flavors that expand steadily through the back half. Deep and seamless in character, showing superb clarity and spicy thrust on a youthfully tannic finish that echoes the floral and blue fruit notes. (JR)
The Le Méal is a flagship plot of Hermitage, and this profoundly fruity yet firmly mineral Syrah is a fine example of the vineyard's greatness. Blackberry and black fig flavors are etched by nutmeg, bramble and sage. Aged 14–18 months in barrel (30–50% new oak), it's voluminous yet piercing and finishes on lingering, persistent tannins. A wine that should improve through 2035 and drink well longer still. (AI)
The star of Ferraton's 2017s is the 2017 Ermitage Le Méal. A rich, full-bodied offering, it features cedary accents and savory notes of earth and black olives layered over black cherries. Creamy and supple on the palate, it finishes long, picking up hints of dark chocolate. Approachable already, it should drink well through 2035. (JC)
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