A wine of Aesthete for an Appellation of Aesthete! Often wayward, reason why it is so often misunderstood, L’Hermitage remains, in the eyes of the demanding connoisseurs, and in our view, one of the most authentic Gems amongst the most famous French Wines.
The vintage

Spell of the years in « 5 » ? The fact is that, in recent decades, Vintages ending in « 5 » - 1985, 1995, 2005, and 2015 - , carry success stories, in Vallée du Rhône, but also, more generally, in the whole of the Vineyards of France. It must be said that 2015 put the odds on its side, with almost optimal climatic conditions for each and every season of the year! Thus, winter is rainy, allowing vines to benefit from good water reserves. Spring awakening is somewhat late - 3 weeks delay, compared to 2014, yet, the weather gradually settles, and flowering takes place in excellent conditions: the output of grapes is quite simply outstanding. The summer period arrives then quickly, with extremely hot months of June, July and August. Nevertheless, one cannot speak of heat wave, as the nights remain cool. Consequently, thermal amplitudes are absolutely phenomenal. No pressure from pests and diseases, the vineyard and the winemaker breathe freely. Everything is looking fine before the start of the harvest…
The rains that occurred end of August unblocked, then, in a second step, accelerated maturing.
Rarest data, the grapes are, here, widely in advance: thus, as unbelievable as it may read, Côte Rôtie is the first Appellation to start harvesting ! Levels of maturity are quite homogeneous. There is no gap between phenolic maturity and physiological ripeness. Never, ever, had we tasted such quality of juice. The wines are clearly defined, both dense and fresh: the perfection of their balance is purely disconcerting…

Terroir

Pierrelles, Beaumes, Murets.

Nature des sols

Clayey granitic.

Ageing

Ageing 24 months in new and one year old barrels. Tronçais et Allier.

Serving

14°C
Decant 2 hours before tasting.

Alcohol content

14%

Mise en bouteille

Without fining and light filtration.

Cépages

Marsanne : 80 %
Roussanne : 20 %

Deeper in color than the St Péray release, the 2015 Hermitage Blanc offers a big, rich, unctuous style as well as terrific notes of marmalade, buttered peach, toasty oak and exotic flowers. Not yet bottled, this full-bodied, rich, concentrated white is going to need a year or two of bottle age, but will keep for a decade or more.

Jeb Dunnuck
Wine Advocate , 92-95/100 , 2016-12-30

Deep straw colour. Ethereal and deceptively light on the nose but with lots buried underneath. Great weight and intensity with some lemon cough drops and lots of blossom but no heaviness. Apparently quite sweet, but with a most engaging quinine twist. Racy and refined plus massive density. Should make excellent old bones. Real grip and conviction.

Jancis Robinson , 18/20 , 2016-10-14