2001 Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Rouge
The black-colored 2001 Ermitage l'Ermite may be equal to the perfect 1996. Awesome levels of kirsch liqueur, licorice, and white flowers are followed by a superbly concentrated, etched, long, deep wine with multiple layers, a fabulous texture, and virtually perfect balance as well as harmony. Possessing great stature and intensity, it is a monumental achievement. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040. RP This uncompromising offering from a young genius is not meant for consumers who want something to drink immediately. It is the essence of bio-dynamically farmed vineyard sites cropped incredibly low, given extended fermentations with indigenous yeasts, and rarely touched until it goes into the bottle unfined and unfiltered. In most vintages, the wine is not even racked off its lees, which only adds to its natural style. This is truly a remarkable wine, but for most readers, patience is the operative rule as it needs a good 8-10 years to strut its stuff. Once moribund, over the last 12 years, this firm has become one of the reference points for nearly all the Rhone Valley appellations since the brash yet immensely talented Michel Chapoutier took over in the late eighties. The single vineyard offerings are as good as Rhone Valley wines can be. Moreover, Chapoutier continues to upgrade the quality of those wines offered in more significant quantities than the 500 or so cases each of the single vineyard offerings.