2010 M. Chapoutier "Le Méal" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1079471 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the stars of the retrospective was the 2010 Ermitage le Meal. This classic vintage yielded concentrated, fresh and structured wines and the 2010 has all of these traits in spades. Giving up a massive array of liquid rock, graphite, spring flowers, cassis and black raspberries, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a tight, structured, tannic mouthfeel and bright acidity, all while still showing incredible polish and elegance. It will certainly flirt with perfection at maturity, but is all about minerality and structure at the moment. Give this incredible effort 3-5 years of cellaring and enjoy it over the following 2-3 decades. (JD) 99+  (9/2015)

98 points Wine Spectator

 A dark, nicely toasty style, with lots of warm cocoa, espresso and tar notes up front, followed by crushed fig and warm currant confiture flavors. A toasty edge holds sway on the finish for now, but this is packed with a tarry intensity and loads of fleshy fruit through the long, loamy finish. Dark and chewy, exhibiting terrific drive. Best from 2018 through 2035. *Collectibles* (JM)  (10/2013)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Spice-accented black raspberry, cherry-cola, licorice and floral pastilles on the highly perfumed nose and on the palate. Sappy, deeply pitched and chewy on entry, then livelier in the middle, with lively acidity adding lift and bite. Really stains the palate, finishing with superb energy and floral-driven persistence. (JR)  (3/2013)

K&L Notes

99 points Robert Parker: "From one of the warmest sites on the Hill of Hermitage, the 2010 Ermitage Le Meal begs comparison with the famed Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle (which is made primarily from the same parcel). The wine’s huge color, which resembles vintage port, is followed by sumptuous notes of steak au poivre, crème de cassis, blackberries, acacia flowers and scorched earth. Unctuously textured, full-bodied, incredibly refined and precise with amazing intensity as well as a finish that lasts nearly 60 seconds, this colossal effort is one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from Le Méal. It should hit its peak in 15 years and last for 50 or more." (Wine Advocate, 12/2012)

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Price: $274.99
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- 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.


- 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.


- 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.
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