Maison Les Alexandrins Hermitage - 2018
The history of Ermitage is very old and according to a number of books it goes back to the Romans. The local legend relates the story of an 13th century knight who, returning from a crusade, built a chapel at the top of a hill and lived there like a hermit, hence the name Ermitage. Returning from a trip to Ermitage in 1787, Thomas Jefferson, the American Ambassador in France, declared his admiration for this white wine “the best wine in the world, with no equal”. His comments on the red wines were just as praising “Full-bodied, dark purple with exquisite flavours…”.
The terroir is complex and varied with granite in parts but also rolled pebbles and calcareous soils. The wines produced in the locality of “Grandes Vignes” where the soils are dominated by granite, have a great minerality but also a nice tannin structure. This area represents 30% of our blend. The wines that we produce on the rolled pebbles (locality of “Greffieux”) are aromatically rich and complex. They correspond to the backbone of our wine and represent 60% of the blend.
Finally the calcareous soil in the locality of “Muret” brings elegance and finesse to the wine.
These 3 terroirs are very complementary and they each bring a different element to the final blend.
After the historically dry and hot summer, the wines give an impression of opulence, concentration and generosity. Ageing will allow the wines to soften and slowly find their balance.
Prestigious hill overlooking the Rhône river and the little village of Tain l’Hermitage. Located on the left bank of the Rhône, the vineyard is south facing and sheltered from the cold northern winds.
The grapes are cold-macerated before being fermented for 28 days with pumping-over at the beginning followed by punching-down towards the end.
Ageing in new oak (30%) and in steel (70%) for 15 months.
An iron fist in a velvet glove: this 2018 hermitage red is a full-bodied, powerful, tannic wine, but never in excess, always in balance. Its granitic soil brings the necessary tension and depth while its alluvial side is the pledge of a significant concentration of aromas. Eighteen months of aging in wood have softened the tannins and gives the wine a very beautiful silky finish. A wine to age at least 10 years.
On his youth, this wine develops nice and powerfull fruits aromas, which can be paired with red meat.
In few years, mushrooms and undergrowth secondary aromas, will match perfectly with games.
Syrah : 100 %
Another wine that shows a classic character, the ruby/purple-hued 2018 Hermitage has more black and blue fruits to go with ample crushed stone and mineral-like nuances. It's rich and has medium to full-bodied depth, building tannins, some background oak, and a great finish. With some upfront appeal, it certainly offers pleasure, yet this has class and is going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and should have 15-20 years of prime drinking.
Jeb Dunnuck , 94/100 , 2020-11-19