2010 Ermitage Blanc, l'Ermite, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires

2010 Ermitage Blanc, l'Ermite, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires

Product: 20108007153
Prices start from £2,150.00 per case Buying options
2010 Ermitage Blanc, l'Ermite, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires

Description

From a tiny 0.5 hectare site of poor shallow granitic soils, located just behind the chapel at the top of the hill of Hermitage, this is a fine expression of the pure Marsanne. Flinty and dominated by notes of acacia, lemon grass and wild honey, this is one of the great white wines of the world, stylistically somewhere between a very great dry Loir e and a Montrachet. Shame there are only 2000 made per vintage. Bottles, that is, not cases.
Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer, February 2012

Amongst the most celebrated, rarest and over-subscribed wines in the Rhône Valley, the Selections Parcellaires are the finest expressiosn of terroir, mostly the soils of the Hill of Hermitage, the minutiae of which are painted with pointillist attention to detail and unparalleled expertise. Inevitably they are made in modest quantities. Do not be too taken aback by the fact that Michel drops his ‘h’s when describing his Ermitage. It is not an estuary French, rather an acknowledgement of ancient spelling.

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6 x 75cl bottle
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About this WINE

Maison Chapoutier

Maison Chapoutier

Michel Chapoutier’s range, which grows ever-more impressive, is the most complete dissection of the region’s styles and terroir. The domaine was founded in 1808. When Michel took charge in 1988, he became the seventh generation of his family to run the domaine. Since then, quality has soared, and he is now farming all his vineyards biodynamically and busily investing in new winemaking projects across the globe, as far-flung as Australia.

Chapoutier describes 2019 as a year of extremes, but an exceptional vintage that produced fine, elegant reds, and balanced, mineral whites. He feels the year’s heat has translated to intensity and depth of profile. Wines at the higher end of the range are built to age and will do so fantastically.

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Hermitage

Hermitage

Hermitage is the most famous of all the northern Rhône appellations. The hill of Hermitage is situated above the town of Tain and overlooks the town of Tournon, just across the river.  Hermitage has 120 hectares and produces tiny quantities of very long-lived reds.

The vines were grown in Roman times, although local folklore claims their origins to be nearly 600 years earlier. The name ‘Hermitage’ first appeared in the 16th century, derived from a legend of the 13th century Crusade, involving a wounded knight called Gaspard de Stérimberg, who made refuge on the hill, planted vines and became a hermit.

During the 17th century Hermitage was recognised as one of the finest in Europe. In 1775, Ch. Lafite was blended with Hermitage and was one of the greatest wines of its day. In the late 19th century, however, Phylloxera wiped out all the vineyards.

The wines are powerful, with a deep colour and firm tannins, developing into some of the finest examples in France, with the potential to age for many decades. The best Hermitage is produced from several climats or more, blended together. The main climats are Les Bessards, Le Meal, L’Hermite, Les Greffieux and Les Diognieres.  Most of the finest climats face broadly south, giving maximum sunshine. Most growers only have one or two climats and they might not complement each other; Hermitage quality can therefore vary hugely. Only the top producers have extensive diversified holdings.

Eighty percent of the wine produced is red, however up to 15 percent of white grapes can be used in the blend. Most growers use 100 percent Syrah and utilise the white grapes to make white wines only. Chapoutier, Jaboulet and Tain l’Hermitage Co-operative are the principle proprietors of the appellation’s vineyards.

The white wines are made from the Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. Great white Hermitage has the ability to age, taking on the fruit characters of apricots and peaches, often giving a very nutty finish. The best examples in great vintages can last 50 years.

Mature red Hermitage can be confused with old Bordeaux. In a blind tasting of 1961 First Growth Clarets, the famous 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle was included. Most people, including its owner, Gerard Jaboulet, mistook it for Ch. Margaux.

Recommended producers: ChaveJabouletChapoutierFerratonColombier
Best vintages: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1991, 1990, 1985

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Marsanne

Marsanne

Marsanne is the predominant white grape variety grown in the Northern Rhône where it is used to produce white St. Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, and Hermitage. It is a tricky grape to cultivate, being susceptible to diseases and being particularly sensitive to extreme climatic changes - if growing conditions are too cool, then it fails to ripen fully and produces thin, insipid wines, while, if too hot, the resultant wines are blowsy, overblown and out of balance.

In the Northern Rhône it tends to be blended with around 15% Rousanne and produces richly aromatic, nutty wines which age marvellously - the best examples are from Hermitage and particularly from Chapoutier. Increasingly it is being grown in the Southern Rhône and Languedoc Roussillon where it is bottled as a single varietal or blended with Roussanne, Viognier, and sometimes Chardonnay. It is also grown very successfully in Victoria in Australia where some of the world`s oldest Marsanne vines are to be found.

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Critics reviews

The Wine Advocate98-100/100
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
Robert Parker98-100/100
The Wine Advocate98-100/100
From the very top of the granite dome of Hermitage, the 2010 Ermitage L’Ermite Blanc is absolutely remarkable. One hundred percent old-vine Marsanne, this wine tastes like a liqueur of crushed rocks with hints of lemon and white peach oils, buttered brioche, wet steel and gun flint. With floral notes as well as such an intense minerality, this thick, unctuously textured wine still has remarkable acidity. It should be drunk over the next 50-75 years. All of these wines are produced from rigidly cultivated, bio-dynamically managed vineyards.

That has been the rule since Michel Chapoutier first took over this firm in the late 1980s. Now, with over 20 years of biodynamic viticulture under his belt, Chapoutier remains committed to this rather radical style of organic farming. He believes the effect is to reduce rot in damp, rainy vintages…Refusing to acidify, chaptalize, or touch the wines in any way, he clearly wants every wine to capture the very essence of its terroir and vintage personality...

As for the selections parcellaires of 2010 reds, Chapoutier likes this vintage almost as much as 2009, but feels it is very different, emphasizing more acidity and minerality, whereas 2009 is a combination of pure power, concentration and great potential longevity. Michel Chapoutier considers the 2009s, which are all in bottle, to be among the greatest wines he has ever produced, equaling his finest wines of 2006, 2003, 1999, 1990 and 1989.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate #197 Oct 2011) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
Ice-maiden nose – don’t touch me! Very intense but introvert and nervy. Very mineral. Reverberates on the finish. Magnificent!
(Jancis Robinson & Julia Harding MW - www.jancisrobinson.com - 20 Dec 2011) Read more
Robert Parker98-100/100
From the very top of the granite dome of Hermitage, the 2010 Ermitage L’Ermite Blanc is absolutely remarkable. One hundred percent old-vine Marsanne, this wine tastes like a liqueur of crushed rocks with hints of lemon and white peach oils, buttered brioche, wet steel and gun flint. With floral notes as well as such an intense minerality, this thick, unctuously textured wine still has remarkable acidity. It should be drunk over the next 50-75 years. All of these wines are produced from rigidly cultivated, bio-dynamically managed vineyards.

That has been the rule since Michel Chapoutier first took over this firm in the late 1980s. Now, with over 20 years of biodynamic viticulture under his belt, Chapoutier remains committed to this rather radical style of organic farming. He believes the effect is to reduce rot in damp, rainy vintages…Refusing to acidify, chaptalize, or touch the wines in any way, he clearly wants every wine to capture the very essence of its terroir and vintage personality...

As for the selections parcellaires of 2010 reds, Chapoutier likes this vintage almost as much as 2009, but feels it is very different, emphasizing more acidity and minerality, whereas 2009 is a combination of pure power, concentration and great potential longevity. Michel Chapoutier considers the 2009s, which are all in bottle, to be among the greatest wines he has ever produced, equaling his finest wines of 2006, 2003, 1999, 1990 and 1989.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate #197 Oct 2011) Read more