Coming all from sedimentary soils on the eastern side of the hill and brought up in 20% new barrels, the 2016 Ermitage Les Dionnières is a gem in the lineup. Blackberries, currants, roasted herbs, cured meats, and spice notes all emerge from this opulent, powerful, yet also pure and precise Hermitage. It's rich and full-bodied on the palate yet holds onto a fabulous sense of purity and elegance. It will keep for 2-3 decades.
A very appealing nose, with intense, expressive and lively dark fruits among woodsmoke and herbs. It's a very full, large-scale Hermitage, expansive in the mouth and very tannic with a very long finish, but crucially, although dry and savoury, it's also ripe. This will take time for the tannins to soften. (MW)
Brilliant purple. Deeply perfumed dark berry liqueur, violet pastille, smoky bacon and exotic spice aromas show outstanding clarity and mineral lift. Alluringly sweet, palate-coating black raspberry, cherry liqueur and floral pastille flavors are braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Rich but energetic, finishing with powerful mineral thrust, sneaky tannins and building floral and spice qualities. Fermented in concrete tanks and aged for 18 months in oak demi-muids, 25% of them new. (JR)
Smoky and cedary up front, the 2016 Ermitage Les Dionnières is already drinkable. Cola and black olive notes give this medium to full-bodied wine a decidedly savory look, but it finishes velvety and long. For my visit to the Ferraton cellars in downtown Tain l'Hermitage, winemaker Damien Brisset and I were joined by Maxime Chapoutier (his father purchased the business in 2004 but runs it separately from M. Chapoutier). Like Chapoutier, the lineup here includes both blended wines and a range of single-site expressions from particular lieux-dits. Brisset finds plenty to like in both 2016 and 2017, calling 2016 more elegant. In 2017, he decided to pick before he might have really wanted to because of rising sugars, but he says he tried to guard against hard tannins by extracting gently. Drink through 2030. (JC)
Quite ripe and well-focused, with waves of dark plum, fig and blackberry compote rolling through, inlaid deeply with a graphite note and backed by swaths of loam and tobacco on the finish. This relies predominantly on its bass line. Best from 2022 through 2033. 200 cases made, 30 cases imported. (JM, Web Only-2019)
More tannic than their Miaux, with plenty of black fruit and liquorice flavour giving powerful intensity on the finish too. Lovely meaty character just emerging, and some medicinal notes too. Accomplished, sophisticated and fearsomely intense. 17.5/20 points. (RH)
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