2015 Ferraton Pere et Fils "Le Meal" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1299771 99 points Jeb Dunnuck

 One of the finest wines ever made from this estate is unquestionably the 2015 Ermitage Le Méal, which has just about everything you could want in a wine. Loaded with notions of black raspberries, sweet spice, saddle leather, graphite and dried Provençal herbs, this full-bodied, unctuous beauty has loads of sweet fruit, perfectly balanced, sweet, polished tannin, and a huge finish. Brought up in 20% new French oak, it’s a profound Hermitage that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 2-3 decades. Hats off to the team at Ferraton! The only downside to these latest releases from Ferraton? They’re made in tiny quantities and there’s just not enough to go around. For readers who don’t know, this estate is managed by Michel Chapoutier, yet they have their own vineyard sources and winemaking team.  (1/2018)

97 points Decanter

 Sunny aroma – wide and deep. Profound richness, bold tannins, thorough and precise. Class in a glass.  (3/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Cedar and crème de cassis mark the nose of the 2015 Ermitage Le Méal. This is a big, powerful, intense bottle of Syrah, packed with dark fruit and layers of crushed stones and pencil shavings and buoyed by hints of savory spice. Full-bodied and tannic yet velvety and rich, this is a wine that should last 30 years. In the interest of saving time, I tasted these wines during my visit to Chapoutier, although Ferraton is run independently, with its own winemaking team and facility. Despite being under Chapoutier ownership since 2004, the style of wine and fruit sourcing tends to be quite different, as can be seen in the accompanying reviews. (JC)  (12/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Rich and polished, with alluring raspberry, boysenberry and fig reduction flavors gliding through, seamlessly entwined with smoldering charcoal, warm licorice snap and fruitcake notes. The fruit flows through the finish, showing a lingering anise echo. Best from 2020 through 2034.  (2/2018)

91-93 points Vinous

 Bright purple. Powerful smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of cassis, cherry pit and licorice take on a peppery nuance with air. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, offering sappy black and blue fruit liqueur flavors and suggestions of candied flowers and olive. Smooth, slow-mounting tannins add grip to the impressively persistent finish, which leaves blueberry and violet notes behind.  (4/2017)

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Price: $129.99
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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.
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.
Specific Appellation:

Hermitage/Crozes-Hermitage