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More taut, focused and chiseled than the le Pavillon, the blockbuster 2006 Ermitage L'Ermite offers full-bodied richness, a liquid rock-like minerality and sensational notes of black currants, bloody meat, licorice and spice. Reminding me of the 1995, with sensational depth, purity and length, this incredible wine won’t hit maturity for another decade, and will keep for 2-3 decades.
Unlike Burgundy and Bordeaux, the Rhône does not have an official Cru (vineyard) classification system. There are, however, lieux-dits, “named places” or place names that denote vineyard sites and plots within each appellation. Chapoutier owns some of the most famous plots in the Rhône, including 34 hectares within the tiny Hermitage appellation. This collection of highly sought after wines is coined “Selections Parcellaires”. These exceptional wines are created organically and biodynamically and imported to the United States once per year.
Ermitage L’Ermite is the most individual statement in the Hermitage appellation, and the most prized for followers of M. Chapoutier’s grandest of crus.
L’Ermite Rouge, a very rare wine (approximately 375 cases annually) produced from a 9.5 acre site at the top of Hermitage hill, is an intense Syrah with massive tannins. The vineyard’s elevated position, over 200 meters, allows long ripening at the end of the growing season, and its loess soils provide excellent drainage for rainwater. The age of the vines averages over 80 years, and the vines are pruned to very low yield levels.