M. Chapoutier Hermitage 2017s
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 in News
M. Chapoutier Hermitage 2017s
Ned Goodwin MW writes for Langton’s about the heady heights of perfection that M. Chapoutier’s Ermitage 2017s have reached. Strictly limited allocations are available here or contact your broker directly.
No maker but for Michel Chapoutier invokes the vertiginous schist and granitic vineyards of the northern Rhône, particularly the weave of parcels across the fabled tapestry of the Hermitage hill, as much as the name evokes the greatest southern sites and their sedimentary rivulets as the Rhône eddies toward the Mediterranean. Imperious of structure and formidable of concentration, Chapoutier’s suite of 2017s is extremely limited in allocation.
Chapoutier is among the oldest names in the Rhone, operating in family hands since 1855. Far from shy, Chapoutier wines articulate a bevy of revered sites, biodynamically farmed since 1989 and fully certified from 1995, with a palette of pristine fruit picked at meagre yields and optimal ripeness, framed by ample oak. Critical acclaim among the world’s most influential commentators has long been so enthusiastic that it is now de rigueur.
‘Things are done with strident confidence in these parts!’
It was in 1995, too, that Michel Chapoutier opted to change the labels of his wines, incorporating text in braille. Things are done with strident confidence in these parts!
Jeb Dunnuck, Rhône commentator extraordinaire, opines that Chapoutier produced among the top wines of the vintage. An abstemious scorer, Dunnuck lauded Ermitage Le Pavillon with a rare 100 points and the majestic Ermitage l’Orée Blanc with 98. Indeed, Chapoutier’s white wines are overlooked at your peril. They boast the sort of grace, power, and textural intrigue that one expects from the Rhône, underlain by a pungent mineral precision. Very few styles are as versatile at the table.
Joe Czerwinski, The Advocate’s Managing Editor and current Rhône reviewer expressed similar enthusiasm. He bestowed the stony Ermitage Le Meal Blanc with 98 points, the flamboyant Ermitage Le Meal and the more tensile l’Ermite, both hewn of Syrah, with an immutable 100 points respectively.
‘...this hallowed hillside.’
Each of these sites produces little more than 5,000 bottles respectively, giving insight into the minuscule quantity of wine crafted across this hallowed hillside.
Le Meal is a warmer site and l’Ermite, an extremely steep pitch strewn with calcareous pebbles and clay, in addition to the main granite substrata. Here, centurion vines struggle against the elements to produce wines of profundity.
After all, terroir is the conduit of grandeur and few producers articulate it with such perspicacity, particularly when it comes to Hermitage and the Rhône at large. Langton’s is proud to offer the opportunity to explore the rarest of singular parcels and their majestic iterations as some of the world’s greatest wines.