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2015 M. Chapoutier "L'Ermite" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1278091 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Lastly, the 2015 Ermitage L’Ermite offers that classic, searing granite/ozone-laced bouquet of crème de cassis, liquid rocks, graphite, and lead pencil. More tight, focused and backward than the Pavillon, it's no less impressive and is pure, full-bodied, massively concentrated and focused. It’s another monumental wine from Michel Chapoutier that needs to be forgotten for 8-10 years and will have 40-50 years of prime drinking. Enough can’t be said about the quality coming from this estate and these 2015s are certainly a match for what was achieved in 2009 and 2010. I wish every reader could taste these majestic, magical wines.  (1/2018)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 My pick of Chapoutier's 2015 Ermitage bottlings on this occasion was the 2015 Ermitage l'Ermite. It just edged out the other wines for its incredible purity of cassis fruit, indelible intensity and massive concentration. Size doesn't matter if the other elements aren't there, but this wine is complex, balanced and long, a true tour de force. Hints of crushed stone, peppery spice and grilled meat are in the background right now, partially submerged under the waves of fruit and ripe tannins, so give it a decade or so to shed some of that puppy fat and reveal its true nature. (JC)  (12/2017)

98 points Wine Spectator

 This sports some warm, inviting fruit, with layers of boysenberry, fig and blackberry compote rolling through, inlaid with melted black licorice and warm fruitcake flavors, all backed by a long, refined echo of minerality on the finish. Mouthwatering acidity and a flash of savory add extra cut and length. A stunning wine that will require significant cellaring. Best from 2020 through 2045. (JM)  (5/2018)

96 points Vinous

 Dark purple. Expansive aromas of dark fruit preserves, incense, black pepper, violet and spicecake, joined by hints of olive and cola that build in the background. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering wonderfully concentrated yet energetic black and blue fruit and violet pastille flavors that are lifted and brightened by a smoky mineral flourish. Chewy and appealingly sweet on the strikingly long, floral-dominated finish, which is framed by youthful, steadily building tannins (JR)  (4/2018)

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Price: $449.99
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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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