Chapoutier is undoubtedly one of premier producers of the Rhone and indeed, in the world. Year after year, this winery bottles some of the most remarkable and remarked upon wines anywhere. Bestowing 'wine of the vintage' upon a wine from this estate has become so commonplace, it is expected.
Wine enthusiasts who know and love Rhone varietals must taste these wines if only to appreciate the reference points for the varietals.
Similar in style to the hedonistically-styled Cuvee de l’Orée (especially when compared to the structured, mineral-laced l’Ermite), the 2014 Ermitage le Méal Blanc (aged in 10% new demi-muids) offers layers of celery seed, brioche, caramelized pineapple and citrus oil on the nose. Thick, rich, voluptuous and full bodied with a massive finish, drink this sensational white anytime over the coming two to three 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. ~97WA
A rich, enticing style, with creamed pear, melon and apple fruit flavors. Lightly toasted hazelnut and matchstick hints weave through the finish, with a mirabelle plum note lingering longest. Drink now through 2027. 26 cases imported. ~95WS
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