2012 M. Chapoutier "Le Méal" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A wine I seem to like more and more every time I taste it, the 2012 Ermitage le Meal is easily the most extroverted, decadent and voluptuously styled Hermitage from this team. Coming from the more limestone soils and warmest spot on Hermitage hill, it exhibits incredible notes of cassis, blackberry, liquid violets, smoked earth and licorice. Full-bodied, deeply fruited and incredibly sexy, it nevertheless never puts a foot wrong, seems weightless in the mouth and offers blockbuster length. I'd happily drink this awesome Hermitage anytime over the coming two decades. There's a tiny 346 cases of this beauty to go around, so don't miss a chance to grab some.
A nice bass line plays here, featuring dark currant, fig and blackberry confiture notes that have melded already with a broad swath of warm charcoal and ganache. Impressive, loamy grip holds the finish, though this will needs a few years to stretch out fully. Best from 2018 through 2030.
Dark purple. A highly perfumed, complex bouquet evokes ripe cherry and raspberry, along with complicating notes of candied flowers, incense and Indian spices. Sappy and expressive, with intense black raspberry and floral pastille flavors underscored by juicy acidity. Shows superb focus and lift on the finish, which lingers with outstanding tenacity; suave, supple tannins barely peak through the wine's vibrant fruit.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. The nose displays deeply pitched, mineral-laced scents of black raspberry, cherry-cola and violet, plus a hint of star anise. Then rich but surprisingly lively in the mouth, offering sweet red and dark berry liqueur flavors accented by exotic floral pastilles and gingerbread. Lush and creamy on the strikingly long finish, which features suave spicecake and raspberry notes.