While I've had multiple looks at previous vintages, this is my first review of the 2018 Hermitage Ligne de Crête Les Grandes Vignes. Inky in hue, it boasts powerful, brooding aromas that include hints of hardwood charcoal, dark berries, licorice, crushed stone and pencil shavings. Full-bodied and almost painfully intense, it's a huge, mouthfilling wine that seems capable of aging up to three decades. Rich, supple and creamy in texture, yet possessing remarkable length and retronasal nuance, it has to rank up there with some of the Hermitage hill's classics from other, more renowned producers. It certainly deserves a seat at that table and may be a candidate for a perfect score in the future. (JC)
Plum paste, linzer torte and cassis notes give this a fruit-filled profile, while licorice, sweet spice and dark earth accents provide a solid background. There's a buried iron underpinning, and a late echo of singed alder on the finish. All of this feels seamless, thanks to an understated polish. (JM)
Something of a different beast to the previous three vintages, this is concentrated and exuberantly fruity. The oak is still prominent, and the alcohol is warming. Good levels of acidity and salinity help to bring balance with tannins that are very fine, and plentiful. This is a ripe and concentrated example of this cuvée, but its alcoholic potency detracts slightly from its characteristic elegance. (MW)
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