Le Méal, a broader swath of the hill at a slightly higher elevation (150-200 meters) faces slightly more to the east. It is composed of chalk and alluvial gravelly soil rather than granite, and produces a wine of greater perfume, whether red (Syrah) or white (Marsanne). Le Méal owes its official "lieu dit," in English "place name" to the old French word meaning "the best."
Deep red garnet with violet highlights during its youth. Ripe fruits and smoky aromas. Powerful tannins, velvety, blackberry jam.
"One of the wines of the vintage, the spectacular 2011 Ermitage Le Meal is borderline perfection. Loaded with dark fruits, charcoal, roasted herbs, liquid violet and crushed rock-like minerality, it flows onto the palate with full-bodied richness, layers of texture and superb concentration. Offering uncommon richness and texture in the vintage, it should have two decades of longevity (and be drinkable for most of it)."
The Wine Advocate
"Mulled plum, loganberry and blackberry fruit is melded together in this red, studded with anise, briar and singed mesquite notes. A light tarry backdrop frames the long finish. "
"Vivid purple. Sexy, high-pitched red fruit aromas are complicated by notes of Szechuan peppercorn, potpourri and smoky minerals. Powerful but elegant as well, offering palate-staining black raspberry, cola and violet pastille flavors and a strong mineral underpinning. Finishes with superb clarity, spiciness and length, leaving a smoky mineral note behind. Here the liveliness of the vintage is enhanced by surprising depth and power, which suggests that the wine will be a good cellar candidate."
International Wine Cellar