M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2011 Front Label
M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2011 Front LabelM. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2011  Front Bottle Shot

M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2011

  • RP98
  • WS97
  • D93
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • WS97
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ermitage L'Ermite is the most individual statement in the Hermitage appellation and the most prized for followers of M. Chapoutier's grandest of crus. L'Ermite Rouge, a very rare wine (with approximately 375 cases made annually) produced from a 9.5 acre site at the top of Hermitage Hill.

Deep red garnet with violet highlights. Black fruits with spice and ink notes. Tannins are not only very powerful but also mellow. Smoky notes and pepper highlight wonderfully the Syrah varietal on granite soils.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As expected, the 2011 Ermitage l’Ermite, which comes from the lieu-dit of the same name, is more backward and focused, with a slightly closed, tight profile. Slowly giving up ample cassis and black raspberry fruit, graphite, licorice and edgy minerality, it is full-bodied, deeply concentrated and tannic, yet still never puts a foot wrong and is perfectly balanced and seamless. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following two decades or more.

Rating: 98+ Points

WS 97
Wine Spectator
Tightly coiled, with a briary frame around the core of intense steeped plum, red currant and black cherry fruit. An iron spine drives the focused finish. A wine of cut and precision that will need time to stretch out fully.
D 93
Decanter
Attractively fruited nose; oak, leather hum along. Every piece of the puzzle has merit. Fleshy fruit, saline thread, violet trimming
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M. Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier

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M. Chapoutier, France
M. Chapoutier Michel Chapoutier at Ermitage Winery Image
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.

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Hermitage Wine

Rhone, France

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One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.

Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.

The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.

While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”

SWS343086_2011 Item# 132735

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