"The 1996 Hermitage Le Meal Chapoutier calls it the Lafite-Rothschild of Hermitage is a mineral-dominated, high acid, medium to full-bodied, high-strung, extremely intellectual wine. It exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color, as well as mineral-dominated aromatics with notes of cassis, kirsch, and underbrush. Made from 80-year old vines, it requires 10-15 years of cellaring. Although not the most charming, opulent, or viscous style of Hermitage, it does possess the strongest terroir character of any of Chapoutier's wines. I might call it the Ausone of Hermitage! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040."
Vinous - 90-91/100
"Dark ruby-red. Kirsch, cassis, violet, smoke and spices on the sappy nose. Very bound-up in the mouth today, with strong acidity dominating. I don't currently get the sheer richness of Hermitage, but this is precise, very firmly structured and very young. Finishes with firm tannins and a note of vanillin oak. Should age slowly and well."
In the Rhone Valley, or through the most beautiful regions of France and the world, the Maison M. CHAPOUTIER lets the terroir express itself.
deep garnet red with purple lights during its youth.
ripe fruits and smoky aromas.
powerful tannins, velvety, blackberry jam. According to the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years, indeed from 50 to 75 years.
Sommelier's advice: Beef, game All cheeses
Hand harvesting at maturity.
The wine is only produced with grapes coming from the Méal hillside. This slope is composed of high terraces of shingles and clay. The vines are about 50 years old.
The harvest, totally destemmed, is vinified in a small cement vat. High temperature maceration enables a good extraction of grape potential, to obtain soft and stable tannins, compulsory to keep the wine for a very long time. Only the free-run juice is used in this single vineyard.
Wine is matured in new or one year old cask. Maturing lasts between 14 and 18 months. The clarification is natural.