2003 M. Chapoutier "De l'Orée" Ermitage Blanc
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Nearly perfect, one of the most prodigious dry white wines I have ever tasted is the 2003 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree. A 669-case cuvee fashioned from yields of 10 hectoliters per hectare, it offers aromas and flavors beyond anything I have previously tasted in a dry white. It tastes like a liqueur of licorice intermixed with a liqueur of honeysuckle, quince, and rocks. Opulent, viscous, and full-bodied, at first glance it is seemingly fragile and over the top, but it boasts extraordinary freshness and liveliness as well as monster concentration and a finish that lasts over 60 seconds. I suspect it will drink beautifully for 3-4 years, then go into a funky stage, and re-emerge two decades later. It may be a 100-year wine ... but who knows? Without question, it is a tour de force in winemaking. (RP)
Offers a perfume of persimmon and clove-studded blood orange, with a juicy palate that sports dried fruit, date, green almond and smoke flavors. Long, racy finish is filled with salted butter and floral notes.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Exotic aromas of candied peach, menthol, tea and spices. Supersweet, ripe and complex, with suggestions of lemon verbena and garrigue At once exotic and powerful, with firm structure and little obvious heat showing today. Finishes extremely long and shapely, with exotic suggestions of oriental spices. Serve this with spicy Asian dishes, Mazoyer suggests, adding that this wine should be drunk soon or laid down for 15 years. (ST)
96-98 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "A lovely, intellectual nose of minerals, kerosene, juniper, and lanolin. Very complex. The palate is supremely well balanced with good acidity. Notes of banana skin, grapefruit and beeswax. A little like a Chenin Blanc on the finish. Another stupendous Cuvee de l'Oree." (08/2007)