1995 Chapoutier "Le Pavillon" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1995 Ermitage Le Pavillon is magnificent. The wine is more accessible than the 1996 (due to lower acidity and more immediately accessible glycerin and fruit), with a magnificent black/purple color, and layers of cassis fruit, smoky, roasted meat, and mineral characteristics that are the result of barrel fermentation and high extraction of fruit. It is huge, but not heavy, gorgeously proportioned, and dazzlingly well-defined. A monster Hermitage of immense proportions, it somehow manages to keep everything in balance. This backward Pavillon will require 10-12 years of cellaring. It should age well through the first half of the next century.
Beautifully defined and characteristic flavors of black cherry, spice, licorice and violets shine through this medium-bodied, perfectly focused red. Not a blockbuster, but it's firm and crisp, and completely true to the appellation, marrying international-quality winemaking with authentic local character.