2019 Hermitage Blanc, Chante Alouette, M. Chapoutier, Rhône

2019 Hermitage Blanc, Chante Alouette, M. Chapoutier, Rhône

Product: 20198116691
Prices start from £51.25 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2019 Hermitage Blanc, Chante Alouette, M. Chapoutier, Rhône

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This 100% Marsanne is a blend of three vineyards atop the high plateau of the Ermite lieu-dit: Le Méal, Les Murets and Chante-Alouette. The 10% new oak and lees stirring used during vinification set off the variety’s propensity for rich, buttery, stone- and tropical-fruit flavours and round, luscious textures. Wonderfully complex, with ginger, apricots, honey, bitter almonds and acacia flowers spearheading into a taut, lemony finish.

Drink 2024 - 2035+

Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Critics reviews

Jancis Robinson MW17.5+/20

Stunning nose, with a blend of honeysuckle and almond husk. Soft and rounded, with tantalising mouth-watering freshness and a pure direct palate – layered honey and green apples with just a suggestion of quince. Gorgeous.

Drink 2021 - 2040

Alistair Cooper MW, JancisRobinson.com (December 2020)

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Deep straw colour. Very rich, it has the opulence and glamour of Hermitage, but has an inner steel and savour that brings balance with mango, almond and fresh pear. Deep set acidity, it's not high, but it's enough. Long finish. All domaine fruit, mostly from Les Murets, and top of Le Méal, mainly loess soils. Some at the very top of L'Ermite around the chapel. Aged in two-year-old demi-muids, except for 10% in stainless steel.

Drink 2020 - 2035

Matt Walls, Decanter.com (October 2020)

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Jeb Dunnuck95/100

Always a classic Hermitage Blanc, the 2019 Hermitage Chante-Alouette Blanc is all Marsanne that comes mostly from vines just above the Le Méal lieu-dit, but also from the upper part of the Les Murets. A rich, medium to full-bodied beauty, it has classic Hermitage minerality as well as smoking good notes of buttered peach, quince, woodsmoke, crushed stone, and a touch of spice. It shows even more minerality on the palate and is balanced, with ample mid-palate depth and a great finish. This young, concentrated, vibrant Hermitage Blanc can be drunk over the coming 20-25 years or more.

Drink 2020 - 2046

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (November 2020)

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About this WINE

Maison Chapoutier

Maison Chapoutier

Applying his usual break-neck rigour to the presidency of InterRhône has not in any way distracted Michel Chapoutier. His range is more impressive in scope than ever, providing the most complete dissection of the region’s styles and terroir. Founded in 1808, Michel took charge in 1988 and 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. He also invests in new winemaking projects across the globe, as far-flung as Australia. His children, in particular his daughter, Mathilde, are now increasingly involved in the day-to-day management of the maison, bringing with her her entrepreneurial skills and vision.

Michel describes 2021 as a vintage the vignerons were unlikely to forget in a hurry, bringing an array of challenges that only hard work could overcome. It also brought a style of wines he thought long forgotten: ethereal in nature, with aromatic complexity, lower alcohols and bright acidities. They offer great elegance and finesse overall.

You might remember that we offered Chapoutier’s 2021 sélection parcellaire back in October last year – an impressive range of his single vineyards, including his prestigious Ermitages. We do have small volumes left of some lines so if you’re interested in seeing a complete list, please speak to your Account Manager.

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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, Château 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.

80% of the wine produced is red, however up to 15% of white grapes can be used in the blend. Most growers use 100% Syrah and utilise the white grapes to make white wines only. Chapoutier, Jaboulet and Tain l'Hermitage are the principal proprietors of the appellation’s vineyards.

The white wines are made from the Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. Great white Hermitage can 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 Château Margaux.

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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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