Ermitage Rouge ‘Le Méal’, M Chapoutier, Hermitage, Northern Rhone, France, 2013
2.2ha, 100% Syrah
This wine is produced with grapes coming from Le Méal hillside (150-200 metres altitude). It takes its name from the old French word meaning “the best”. This slope is composed of high terraces of shingles and clay. Vines are over 50 years old. The wine is characterised by a supple character, a fine balance and intense fruit aromas. Yields are again exceptionally low, at around 20 hl/ha. Le Méal produces wines with great perfume, richness and amazing ageing potential. The nose exhibits a ripe fruit character, with rich, stewed blackberries and powerful but velvety tannins on the palate.
"A classic expression of the gorgeous, sunbaked vineyard, the 2013 Ermitage le Méal is as ripe, sexy and voluptuous as they come in the vintage. Black raspberries, jammy blackberries, licorice, toasted spice and crushed flowers are just some of the nuances in the bouquet. Full-bodied, mouth-filling with ripe tannin, plenty of mid-palate density (which can be lacking in some wines in the vintage) and with a great finish, it has the balance and texture to dish out pleasure today, but will have 25 or more years of overall longevity." 97/100 Jeb Dunnuck www.roberparker.com