Ermitage Rouge ‘L’Ermite’, Hermitage, Northern Rhone, France, M Chapoutier 2012
3ha, 100% Syrah
The plot is situated at the top of the Hermitage Hill, around the chapel. The elevated position of the vineyard, over 200 metres, allows long ripening at the end of the growing season. The soil of loess provides excellent drainage for rainwater. Vines are over 80 years old and are planted on poor granitic soils. L’Ermite traditionally produces the most elegant and aromatic Ermitage. It has powerful tannins, smoky notes and black pepper.
"Racy, sinewy, polished with refined ripe fruit underneath but very skilfully hidden. Long and juicy and so very different from Le Méal, for instance. Much less burly. Splits the difference between Méal and Greffieux. Wonderfully lifted nose. Savoury." 18.5/20 JR www.jancisrobinson.com
"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." Jeb Dunnuck 100/100 robertparker.com