Chapoutier’s selections of the best parcels of vines in Hermitage are set to become legendary. Sold under the ancient spelling of the appellation name (Ermitage), they represent the epitome of the power and concentration that lies behind the reputation of the appellation. This cuvée is the best of the collection…— R.V.
Le Méal is said to be the warmest terroir on the Hermitage hill, and thus it is no surprise that this bottling fared the best in the challenging 2004 vintage. Flamboyant, creamy waves of raspberry fruit flood the palate, bringing hints of meat, smoke and pepper along for the ride and developing lovely soft tannins…— J.C.
Chapoutier’s top white in 2004 is this knockout cuvée parcellaire he calls De L’Orée. Aromas of truffles and honey burst from the glass, while the flavors lean toward peaches and toasted nuts. It’s full-bodied and undoubtedly high in alcohol, but there’s no trace of heat, and while it’s broad and mouthfilling…— J.C.
If the gorgeous notes of brown sugar, graham cracker and black pepper on the nose don’t reel you in, what’s in the mouth will. Its blackberry core is juicy without being overblown; black olives, earth, leather and even a little raspberry flesh out the flavor profile. Has a velourlike texture in the mouth; its…— W.E.
Although 2006 won’t go down as a great vintage in the northern Rhône, Chapoutier’s selections parcellaires are still top notch. Le Méal gets the nod this year as the most powerful of the group, with massive espresso and black olive elements tinged with meat and underlain by a bed of ripe blueberries. Long and…— J.C.
For white Hermitage, this is tight and minerally, with more structure than Chapoutier’s other microcuvées and possibly more aging potential. There’s a bit of truffle on the nose, but it’s not so exotic as the De L’Orée, nor so rich and fat as Le Méal. Finishes with tremendous length and minerality.— J.C.
Wonderfully aromatic and complex, blending floral notes with mineral scents, bold cassis fruit and cracked pepper. This is full-bodied and muscular on the palate, the only one of Chapoutier’s 2004s that really demands cellaring. Drink 2010–2020.— J.C.
Le Pavillon is drawn from Les Bessards, the most granitic of Hermitage’s climats, resulting in a wine with pronounced structure and minerailty. Hints of cinnamon and clove join plum and crushed stone on the nose, while the concentrated flavors suggest iron or beef blood as well. Drink 2015–2030.— J.C.