2001 M. Chapoutier "Le Méal" Ermitage
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Reminding me of the 2005 (albeit with less concentration) with its classic, straight and focused personality, the 2001 Ermitage le Meal offers lots of gamy meats, olive, bacon fat and dark fruits to go with a medium to full-bodied, seamless, silky and elegant style on the palate. Shining for its purity, elegance and freshness - all of which make it hard to resist today - it's a great choice for readers looking for a classic, mature Hermitage that's drinking at point. It should hold for another 10-15 years. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full ruby-red. Granitic aromas of gunflint, minerals and licorice. Lush, rich and seamless but very backward, with very dark flavors of blackberry, licorice and spice. Less obviously sweet than the extraordinary Pavillon bottling, but this, too, dusts the entire palate. A wine of great structure and power. Explosive, gripping finish. (ST)
Big and burly for a Hermitage, with lots of bacony smoke, tobacco and bittersweet chocolate up front. Plenty of fruit here though--plum, black currant--along with game and mineral notes as well. Brawny finish needs a touch of cellaring to smooth out. (JM)
Medium deep garnet. Sweet and perfumed deep black fruit - very attractive and inviting aromas. Very very firm thick tannins and a little drying on the finish. Difficult to know how the fruit-tannin interplay will develop.