M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne Hermitage 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
M. Chapoutier's roots in the Rhône date back to 1808, when the family first settled in Tain l'Hermitage. The family purchased a winery owned by Comte Monier de la Sizeranne and over time, acquired a number of excellent vineyards, including some of the oldest in France. M. Chapoutier was the first winery to put Braille on a wine label in 1996. Far from being anecdotic, this symbol draws its origin from the very history of the Hermitage vineyard. Maurice Monier de la Sizeranne, owner of the plot of the Hermitage, la Sizeranne, is also the inventor of the first version of abbreviated Braille. Michel Chapoutier is one of the most highly regarded winemakers in France and since taking over his family firm in 1990 at the age of 26, he has transformed the winery into the leading Rhône producer. The highly sought-after appellation of Hermitage is named after the tiny chapel at its highest point (once home to hermits). Most do not realize Hermitage is comprised of just a few hilltops with very dense terrior. Steep southerly facing terraces with unique microclimates drive rich complexity in the wines. In Hermitage, Syrah achieves its noblest expression and La Sizeranne has become a benchmark wine for the region.
The wine is deep garnet red with purple highlights.
On the nose the wine displays red fruit (raspberry, blackcurrant), with a hint of licorice.
On the palate the wine is round, elegant with soft and concentrated tannins and a long aftertaste of blackcurrant and raspberry.
The Wine Advocate - "The top-notch 2006 Ermitage La Sizeranne boasts an opaque ruby/purple color along with a sweet bouquet of black raspberries, creme de cassis, acacia flowers, crushed rocks, and subtle wood. Full-bodied, rich, and broad with moderate tannin, good acidity, and a long finish, the 2006 will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, and keep for 15+ years."
Wine Spectator - "A bright, juicy style, with forward raspberry and boysenberry fruit backed by sweet spice and fruitcake hints. The solid, juicy finish has a good graphite edge. Drink now through 2016."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Wild, expressive aromas of dark berries, incense and raw meat, with a smoky undertone. Sweet, rather primary cherry and berry skin flavors pack a serious punch and are braced by dusty tannins. Finishes sweet and clinging. This will repay aging."
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M. Chapoutier Winery
No name is more closely associated with the greatness of the Rhone valley than M. Chapoutier.
The history of the Chapoutier family stretches back to the early nineteenth century when current owner Michel Chapoutier’s great-, great-, great-grandfather Marius purchased an estate and some vineyards in the now famous village of Tain l’Hermitage in the Northern Rhône Valley. Marius Chapoutier made history in the region when he became the first grape grower there to vinify his own fruit. Marius had tasted wines other winemakers produced using his fruit and he realized that something was lost in translation, so to speak. He knew that he owned some of the best growing sites in the appellation and he believed — rightly — that the grapes grown in his vineyards could produce long-lived world-class wines. In a move unusual at the time, he decided that he should make the wine himself. Not only did the quality of the wines increase greatly, but this move provided the capital to expand the Chapoutiers’ already legendary estate.
A visionary and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking, his restless energy and unconditional commitment to quality have produced tremendous success, with the most 90+ point ratings of all Rhône producers and 16 "100 point" rated wines. View all M. Chapoutier Wines
About HermitageView a map of Hermitage wineries (EHR-me-tahj) and Crozés-Hermitage (krohz EHR-me-tahj)
Notable FactsSyrah is the only varietal permitted in the red wines, while whites are typically blends of both Marsanne and Roussanne. All three varieties grow on the Hermitage hill. The red wines of Hermitage are powerful, age-worthy wines, often commanding prices similar to those of top Bordeaux. They are big in fruit and tight in tannins, but with a few years of age (from three years to three decades) they are beautifully complex, perfumed and sensuous. Their whites are somewhat mineral-driven, and depending on the blend, may have an almost oily texture (in a good way!).
Like the island of Manhattan, once all the land of Hermitage is gone, the land is gone – hard to create sprawl from an already established hill. So winemakers planted in the vineyards surrounding Hermitage, in the much larger and flatter appellation of Crozés-Hermitage. The area produces wines of the same make-up of Hermitage – reds from Syrah, whites from Marsanne and Roussanne. Red wines are allowed up to 15% of the white varieties. Some of the reds are full of fruit flavor and ready to drink now, while others are trying to follow Hermitage, by making wines with lots of power and longevity. The whites are few, but enjoyable with good fruit and the same texture of those from Hermitage.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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