now produces the most diverse and complex wines
to be found in the northern Rhône
. Since Michel
Chapoutier took control of this long-established firm in 1988, quality has soared.
All the vineyards are now run on biodynamic principles and now all the grapes in Hermitage
and Châteauneuf du Pape
are totally destemmed prior to fermentation. Previously, Chapoutier wines were criticised for the length of time they spent in old wood - Michel Chapoutier has thrown out the old chestnut foudres and now the wines spend a maximum of 18 months in small oak casks, up to a third of which are new. "Filtering a wine is like making love with a condom," says Michel Chapoutier and all his wines are bottled unfined
Crucial to Michel Chapoutier's philosophy is the production of "téte de cuvées", which include La Mordorée
made from 60 year old vines on the Côte Blonde and Hermitage La Pavillon
from 70 year old vines at the base of Les Bessards. Michel Chapoutier first produced Hermitage Vin de Paille
in 1990 and it is by far the finest sweet wine produced in the Rhône Valley.
The Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires
are some of the most celebrated and rare wines in the entire Rhône Valley, their precisely delineated provenance providing the ultimate celebration of the concept of terroir, most importantly the terroir of the Hill of Hermitage. These single vineyard Hermitage wines are identified by the ancient name of ‘Ermitage’.