2012 M. Chapoutier "Le Pavillon" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1150192 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sharing some similarities to the le Meal (yet its from a very different terroir), with its full-bodied, decadent, heavenly profile that somehow stays pure, poised and elegant, the 2012 Ermitage le Pavillon (767 cases) offers an extraordinary perfume of cassis, raspberries, crushed flowers, powdered rock and smoked earth. Coming all from the granite soils of the les Bessards lieu-dit, which produces some of the most muscular, concentrated wines on the planet, this serious 2012 is more approachable than either the 2009 or 2010, yet certainly is at the same level of quality. Give it 6-7 years in the cellar and enjoy it through 2042. (JD)  (12/2014)

94-96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky purple. Lively, incisive aromas of blackberry, cassis, smoky minerals, licorice and pungent flowers. Juicy and penetrating on the palate, with bright acidity adding lift to the intense black and blue fruit flavors. Becomes spicier and more floral with air, finishing with outstanding energy and thrust and youthful firming tannins.  (3/2014)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This has terrific energy, with zesty loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry coulis flavors, pushed by a grippy dark ganache note. Bramble and anise accents fill the background, with a long, racy, acidity-driven finish that lets the fruit play out wonderfully. Should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030.  (2/2015)

94 points Antonio Galloni

 (made entirely from fruit grown in Bessards, from vines that range from 40 to 60 years in age; 25% new oak): Saturated purple. Pungent smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of dark berry preserves, dried cherry, pipe tobacco, licorice and incense. Stains the palate with intense blackcurrant and bitter cherry flavors, becoming deeper, sweeter and spicier with air. Packs a very serious punch but comes off as lithe and precise, finishing with excellent length and silky, slowly emerging tannins.  (2/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson. Pavillon is stronger than L'Ermite but there is more minerality on L'Ermite. A bit richer and less precise than L'Ermite. Big and rich. Then grainy tannins. Sweet finish. 18.5/20 points.  (6/2013)

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Price: $249.99
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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Specific Appellation:

Hermitage/Crozes-Hermitage