2015 M. Chapoutier "L'Ermite" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Starting the single vineyard releases, or wines Michel calls “Sélections Parcellaires,” the 2015 Ermitage l’Ermite is an absolute blockbuster, decadent, surprisingly sexy example of this cuvée that offers tons of black and blue fruits, crushed rocks, graphite, violets and spring flowers. Coming from the very top of Hermitage Hill, from old vines and aged in just 30% new French oak, this full-bodied beauty will need to be forgotten for 3-4 years, but I suspect the sweet tannin and tons of fruit will give it a broad drink window.
Glass-staining purple. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark fruit, potpourri and olive, and a smoky mineral flourish gains power with air. Shows superb depth as well as energy on the palate, offering sweet blackberry and cherry liqueur flavors sharpened by a jolt of tangy acidity. In a distinctly rich yet animated style, featuring superb focus, youthfully chewy tannins and a long, dark-fruit-dominated finish.
Finally, the 2015 Ermitage L'Ermite provides the distilled essence of cassis and raspberry fruit with flickers of anise and black tea along the edges before its riveting minerality strides in on the finish. This is long, lean muscle at its best. Remarkably expressive today, it's showing the result of cooler terroir in the warm vintage, which pulls its personality to the fore, a role reversal compared to the Pavillon this year, which is more withdrawn.