Saturated ruby-red. Black cherry, black licorice, spice and a mentholated aspect on the nose. Tight, pure and penetrating, with vibrant black cherry flavor. Finishes with granular, noble tannins. Not an especially minerally style of Hermitage.
Robert Parker 99
The black-colored 2001 Ermitage l’Ermite may be equal to the perfect 1996. Awesome levels of kirsch liqueur, licorice, and white flowers are followed by a superbly concentrated, etched, long, deep wine with multiple layers, a fabulous texture, and virtually perfect balance as well as harmony. Possessing great stature and intensity, it is a monumental achievement. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040. These uncompromising offerings from a young genius are not meant for consumers who want something to drink immediately. They are the essence of bio-dynamically farmed vineyard sites cropped incredibly low, given extended fermentations with indigenous yeasts, and rarely touched until they go into the bottle unfined and unfiltered. In most vintages, the wines are not even racked off their lees, which only adds to their natural style. These are truly remarkable wines, but for most readers, patience is the operative rule as they generally need a good 8-10 years to strut their stuff. Once moribund, over the last 12 years, this firm has become one of the reference points for nearly all the Rhone Valley appellations since the brash yet immensely talented Michel Chapoutier took over in the late eighties. The single vineyard offerings are as good as Rhone Valley wines can be. Moreover, Chapoutier continues to upgrade the quality of those wines offered in more significant quantities than the 500 or so cases each of the single vineyard offerings. Importer: Paterno Imports, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040