Ermitage Rouge ‘Le Méal’, M Chapoutier, Hermitage, Northern Rhone, France, 2015
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.
"When in the course of a tasting session one is confronted by a wine that stands above the others, I find it impossible to give more than a single perfect score. So the 2015 Ermitage le Meal gets a "consolation prize" 99+ rating. Full-bodied and intense, loaded with blackberry fruit that pushes the limits of ripeness and richness, this incredible wine retains such fine details as hints of crushed stone, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Unless it shuts down, it should be drinkable by 2025 and give pleasure for many years to come." 99+/100 Joe Czerwinski robertparker.com