Incredibly rich, velvety-textured and long, this is a great example of Hermitage from a superripe vintage. It’s dense like fruitcake without being excessively heavy, and boasts such a panopoly of nuance as to be spellbinding, ranging from spice and herb to black olive and espresso. Wow! Drink now–2025.— J.C.
Delas’s cuvée parcellaire is a rich wine that’s almost syrupy in its concentration and tannic strength. But this definitely has plenty of fruit for balance, mixing cassis with black olive, espresso, cinnamon and clove. Not quite as rich as the ’03, but still a classic, with great persistence on the finish. Best…— J.C.
Old vines in the Les Bessards vineyard on the Hermitage hill have offered up a majestic wine that has considerable power. With its strong, firm tannins and intense, brooding dark fruits, this is a wine that has obviously been made to last. With little use of new wood for this wine (only 10%), the structure and the…— R.V.
Only 6,000 bottles and 300 magnums have been made of this wine, from a parcel in the famed La Landonne vineyard. This is a beautifully crafted wine, with vanilla and polished violet perfumes. To taste, the ripeness of the tannins and the richness of the fruit give both complexity and elegance. It should age for at…— R.V.
The Bessards vineyard is right at the heart of the Hermitage hill. Delas only makes this wine in top years (no 2002, for example), and the quality shows in the aromas of black fruits and violets, the flavors of huge, dense fruit and powerful tannins. This is serious wine, which promises at least 10 years of aging.— R.V.
This is a dark, plush Saint-Joseph, not an edgy, wiry, herb-scented version. Superripe plum and licorice notes are framed by soft tannins and hints of baking spices, but the wine’ essential Syrah nature comes through on the dusty pepper-and-anise finish. Drink now–2020.— J.C.
Possessed of a powerful charred, espresso-like character on the nose, this isn’t that fruit expressive at first, but on the palate black olive and black cherry flavors surge forward, framed by layered tannins and showing great persistence. Needs time; try from 2012.— J.C.
Powerful and intense without going over the top, this is a fine example of white Hermitage. The golden straw color gives a first indication of its richness, followed by scents of honey, even a hint of butterscotch. It’s unctuous in the mouth, boasting flavors of grilled nuts and stone fruits, and finishing with just…— J.C.