1997 M. Chapoutier "De L'Oree" Hermitage Blanc

SKU #160251 98-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 It is no secret that I adore Chapoutier's luxury cuvee of white Hermitage called Cuvee L'Oree. Made from 90-year old vines and microscopic yields of 10-12 hectoliters per hectare, this wine flirts with perfection. It is a compelling white Hermitage. Made from 100% Marsanne, it is as rich and multidimensional as the fullest, most massive Montrachet money can buy. It is unctuously textured, yet extraordinarily and beautifully balanced. I suspect it will drink well early in life, and then shut down for a few years. It should last for 4-5 decades. It is a huge, chewy, multidimensional wine with spectacular concentration and richness. Notes of white flowers, honey, minerals, and peaches are present in astronomical quantities. In short, this wine must be tasted to be believed. (RP)  (2/1999)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 More polite but superripe aromas of apple and honey. Very rich on the palate, with flavors of apple, honey and hazelnut complicated by suggestions of roasted herbs, grass and white flowers. Fat, dense and satisfying. This is over 14% alcohol with no chaptalization.  (1/2000)

K&L Notes

100% Marsanne from old vines (60 to 70 years old) guarantee low yields and a quality production. The grapes producing De l’Orée come from Les Murets plot. This soil is made up of very old fluvioglacial alluvial deposits. After pressing, the must is cold-settling for around 24 hours. About 50% is vinified in big wooden barrels (600 liters) with regular stirrings of the lees, the rest is in vats, and is then matured on lees with regular stirrings for 6 months. Before bottled, the casks are checked with frequent tastings. The maturation lasts between 10 and 12 months. The wine is well-rounded, full bodied, and very complex with overtones of ripe fruits, and baking spices. Very long finish, with a fresh final note. According to the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years, indeed from 50 to 75 years.

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Varietal:

Marsanne

- If you've ever enjoyed the white wines of France's Rhône Valley, then you've probably inhaled the intoxicating honeysuckle and almond perfume of Marsanne. Most often blended with Roussanne and, increasingly, Viognier, Marsanne adds body and perfume to the wines of St-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. It also planted in small amounts in Australia and the United States, where California's Rhône Rangers have embraced it. Aliases include Ermitage, Hermitage Blanc, Marsana and Grosse Roussette.
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