2001 M. Chapoutier "Le Méal" Ermitage
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The dense purple-colored 2001 Ermitage Le Meal reveals aromas of blackberry liqueur, smoke, licorice, and toasty oak. While rich, it is neither as expansive nor as broad compared to the 2000. The 2001 possesses good acidity and delineation in addition to a tight, pinched but impressive finish that lasts for 40-45 seconds. It is certainly an outstanding, even profound effort, but not as compelling as previous vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. (RP)
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.