1998 M. Chapoutier "Le Méal" Ermitage Rouge
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Ermitage Le Meal rouge represents the essence of Hermitage - a wine of elegance, power, symmetry, and extraordinary purity. Aromas and flavors of black and red fruits as well as liquid granite emerge in this superb, multi-layered wine of fabulous intensity and length. The finish lasts for nearly a minute. The tannin is high, and a decade of cellaring is warranted. This 1998 will last for half a century.
Beautiful. Supple tannins, full-bodied and balanced, with rich and ripe fruit. If seduction is the standard, this is hedonistic, with subtle smoke and toast character along with red berry and blackberry concentration.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Knockout aromas of cassis, leather, tobacco, bacon fat and barbecued meat. Dense, quite dry and suave, with a compelling note of woodsmoke. Still quite tightly wound. Really builds toward the back end, which features big, broad tannins and subtle, complex flavors. This has the tangy brightness of the best '98s from the Northern Rhone. 92(+?) points
Dark crimson. Slightly dull nose but good. Convincing, vibrant if slightly dry fruit on the palate. Dry, insistent tannins. But confidence. Rather old-fashioned and brutal in structure. But no shortage of personality. One of the old school? At least there is some confidence here for long-term drinking. 17.5/20 points.