The 2017 Hermitage is another gorgeous 2017 from this domaine. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as knockout notes of crème de cassis, liquid rock-like minerality, toasted spice, and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a deep, layered mid-palate, and a great, great finish. It's young and primordial, yet still offers pleasure due to its balance and purity. Do your best to hide bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades. This wine comes from the more limestone and sandy portions of Hermitage Hill and was brought up in equal parts new and once-used French oak.
Belle's impressive 2017 Hermitage had been blended but not yet bottled at the time of my trip. As always, it's marked by new oak notes of vanilla, menthol and baking spices, but it also boasts massive fruit—mainly ripe red raspberries, but there are some darker notes of plum as well. Full-bodied and creamy textured in the mouth, it remains fresh and spicy on the silky, lingering finish, picking up delectable hints of licorice. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes. (JC)
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