m. chapoutier, hermitage, l'ermite rouge 2013
Sleek, with mouthwatering flavors of red currant, raspberry and cherry preserves forming the core, while a dusting of cocoa, a snap of red licorice and a long, lingering iron spine complete the picture. Very pure and focused. The minerality wins out in the end. Best from 2019 through 2032.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
More backwards, tight and structured than either the Meal or the Pavillon, the 2013 Ermitage l’Ermite was similarly completely destemmed and raised in a scant 30% new French oak. Inky purple/blue colored, it reluctantly yields incredibly mineral-laced notes of charcoal, liquid rock, cassis, black currants and graphite. While it’s less approachable than either of the two other Hermitages, it has fabulous density and depth, ripe tannin and incredible persistence on the finish. Hide these in the cellar for a decade, and enjoy over the following three to four decades. Looking at the 2014 whites from Michel Chapoutier, these are gorgeous wines that show the suppler, more elegant style of the vintage, yet still have thick, unctuous textures that keep you coming back to the glass. The level of concentration this estate is able to achieve, even in these more difficult vintages, is truly remarkable. The two blockbusters that readers shouldn't miss (and that are still affordable by mere mortals) are the 2014 Hermitage Chante-Alouette and the 2014 Saint Joseph les Granits Blanc. With respect to the reds, 2013 is a serious vintage at this estate, and at the top end, they’ve produced the wines of the vintage. I suspect the top releases will shut down relatively quickly so if you’re inclined to try one young, don’t wait too long.
Youthful purple. Powerful, deeply pitched cherry pit and blackcurrant aromas open up slowly to reveal complicating suggestions of black cardamom, licorice and black pepper. Sweet and expansive on the palate, with densely packed dark berry liqueur and cola flavors and a touch of smoky minerality adding vibrancy. At once rich and lively, finishing with serious punch and chewy, slow-building tannins. I suspect that this will be a worthy cellar candidate.