M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2012 Front Label
M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2012 Front LabelM. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2012 Front Bottle Shot

M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 2012

  • RP100
  • WS97
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very deep garnet, almost black. Black fruits with spices and ink overtones on the noses. Tannins are at the same time powerful and velvety. Smoke and pepper overtones wonderfully express the Syrah varietal grown on granitic soil.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another wine that topped out on my scale, the 523-case 2012 Ermitage l'Ermite is as profound an Hermitage as you can find. Coming from the granite soils located around the Chapel on the top of Hermitage hill, it's always the most tight, backward and structured of the releases, even more so than the Pavillon, which always seems to have another layer of sweet fruit to me. The 2012 is deeper and richer than the 2011, yet as with most 2012s, it more approachable and forward than the 2010 (and 2009 in this case). Exhibiting awesome notes of powdered rock, creme de cassis, liquid violets and lite gunpowder, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, awesome mid-palate depth and building, ultra-fine tannin that frame the finish. It's an incredible wine that will won't start to become approachable until a decade after the vintage, and then will keep for three decades.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This blazes along, with a riveting iron note running from start to finish, keeping the red currant, damson plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit racy and defined. Shows terrific cut through the finish, revealing extra tar and ganache hints for textural nuance. Very long. Best from 2018 through 2030.
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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 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 Rhône Blends of the south, 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.”

YAO166186_2012 Item# 166186

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