Not yet bottled, the 2017 Hermitage shows a much sunnier, more exuberant aromatic profile with loads of cassis, kirsch liqueur, toasted spices, cured meats, and dried earth. These give way to a full-bodied Hermitage that has a stacked mid-palate, loads of sweet fruit, and building tannins, all while holding onto the class, elegance, and purity that’s the hallmark of this incredible estate. This is another wine where I question if it will ever shut down, but certainly the safe money is on giving bottle a good decade in a cool cellar.
Jean-Louis Chave had done some preblending of the 2017 Hermitage at the time of my visit, meaning several parcels had already been combined with others, so there were fewer components to taste. A sample that included some L'Ermite, Les Beaumes and Péléat was fragrant, loaded with peppery spice and came across as slightly open-knit (93-95). A second component, mostly Le Méal, was richer and riper-tasting, with lush fruit and hints of roasted meat (97-99). Finally, a sample Jean-Louis described as "more the core of the blend" (mainly Les Bessards) was simultaneously firm and generous, with notes of crushed stone, cassis and licorice (98-100). (JC)
A fairly straightforward vintage for Jean-Louis. 'Everything was nice', he says about the growing season, which was very warm during the summer but with enough rain at the right times. A barrel tasting of the main constituents shows a powerful, lush but stately Beaumes; a fine, red-fruited and finessed Péléat; an extraordinary Ermite of serious acidity and svelte tannins; an opulent, solar Méal; and a straight, peppery Bessards. The overall impression is a lush, rich, almost jovial style of Hermitage, one with a good inner spine but generous, velvety, rich black fruit. (MW)
Aromas of graphite, tar, dark chocolate and black cherries abound, as well as ripe dark plums. This is a very convincing and complex edition of this wine. The palate is so concentrated and has a super deep, plush and fleshy stream of fresh plums and blackberries, as well as a swathe of fine tannins. Profoundly rich and velvety with a strong backbone.
Saturated ruby. Displays expansive aromas of ripe blackberry, cherry liqueur, licorice, candied flowers and olive, plus spice and mineral nuances that build as the wine opens up. At once weighty and energetic in character, offering densely packed black/blue fruit preserve flavors and hints of violet candy, star anise, black tea and smoky minerals. Finishes juicy, lively and strikingly long, with repeating spice and floral notes and steadily building tannins. (JR)
This delivers a long, flowing feel, letting cassis, plum reduction and blackberry compote flavors unfurl slowly while black tea, singed alder, tar, warm loam and dried anise notes play out in the background. Shows grace, power and wonderful length, with the finish, built on tannins at first glance, revealing buried acidity and latent mineral notes. (JM)
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