Hermitage, A small piece of land with some hefty wine bills

A small but truly notable region that has commanded some of the best and most expensive wines of France and the world became our summer tasting this June. Considered one of the oldest wine regions and today has commanded some of the most expensive wines on the market.

Our tasting started out nicely with the 1990 M. Chapoutier “Le Pavillon” Ermitage.   Black colored, with an extraordinary perfume of licorice, sweet blackcurrants, smoke, and minerals, it coats the palate with layer upon layer of decadently rich, superconcentrated, nearly viscous Syrah flavors. There is amazing glycerin, a chewy, unctuous texture, and phenomenal length. As stated by Robert Parker with a score of 100 points.


2000 Chapoutier Hermitage Le Ermite was also on the table as we follow along with ten year later wine. The black/blue-colored 2000 Ermitage Le Pavillon is brilliant out of bottle. Notes of graphite, ink, licorice, creme de cassis, and minerals jump from the glass of this syrup of Hermitage. Full-bodied, unctuously-textured, gorgeously rich, spectacularly concentrated and long, it is a tour de force in winemaking. As Robert writes and scores this one at 98 points.


Our third wine of the tasting was 2000 Chapoutier Hermitage L’Ermite. “It reveals notes of liquid minerals intermixed with kirsch liqueur and blackberries. The extraordinary 2000 flirts with perfection. A provocative wine with great minerality, finesse, and delineation, it blew me away when I tasted it from bottle states Robert Parker and rates at 99 points.


We end our evening with a comparison wine. 2010 d’Arenberg “Dead Arm” Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2010 Dead Arm Shiraz has slightly evolving blackberry notes wafting over a core of forest fruit coulis and dried mulberries accented by suggestions of sandalwood, Indian spices and dried Mediterranean herbs. Medium to full-bodied with loads of evolved black fruit and savory, spicy flavors on offer in the mouth, it has a medium to firm level of powdery tannins, refreshing acid and a long finish. Drink it now to 2021+. (LPB)