The history of Hermitage is very old and according to a number of books it goes back to the Romans (500 years before Christ). The local legend relates the story of an 18th 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 terroirs for the whites are quite different. Generally Marsanne and Roussanne are planted on the high plateau on the localities of Maison Blanche and Roucoules. The soils are composed of Loess and limestone which are ideal for white varieties. The balance between the 2 varieties gives the wine a good acidity with great structure.
The vintage :
There was a huge amount of rainfall during the winter of 2013. This allowed to fill up the water tables.
The temperatures were very unusually hot in April but then dropped considerably in May (an average of 9 to 10 C less than usual). On top of the cooler climate, the precipitations were very significant at the end of May, which delayed the flowering of the vines.
The nice weather came back in June. Despite a temperamental spring and the vegetation being a little delayed, the new shoots look healthy and promising.
The summer was twofold: In July, the weather alternated between dry and sunny spells and storms (including a bit of impact with hale). August was a hotter and drier month of.
The accumulated delay was noticed at the time of harvest as we started around September 25th. The maturities were very consistent depending on the appellation, the terroir, the altitude.
The prestigious hill overlooking the village of Tain lHermitage and the Rhne river. Located on the left bank of the river, this vineyard is south facing and is sheltered from the cold northern wind.
Varieties are vinified separately. Whole bunches are crushed and long fermentation at low temperatures of 12/15C. Ageing in new oak casks during 10 months rounding the wine.
Tasting notes :
With its golden colour, this wine is already showing depth and fatness. The nose is complex with aromas of candied fruit and spices. The mouth is full and has a great length.
Drink now with poultry. Decant an hour before and serve at a temperature of 12-13°C. You can also keep this wine a few years and drink it when aromas of dried fruit have developed.
Is a 70/30 Marsanne and Roussanne blend. It's lush and round, with toasted macadamia nut, brioche and melon flavors that glide wonderfully through the creamy finish. The wine is barrel-fermented (no new oak) and there were just eight barrels made.
James Molesworth, Stirring the Lees, 2013-11-26
Light gold. Ripe tangerine and poached pear aromas are complicated by smoky minerals and gingery spices. Rich and weighty but energetic as well, offering bitter citrus pith and orchard fruit flavors, a hint of anise and a chewy texture. A floral note builds on the spicy, very persistent finish, which is firmed by a dusty mineral quality.
Josh Raynolds, International wine cellar, Note : 92/100, 2014-03-12
Marsanne, Roussanne. Élevage in new and second-use barrels for 10 months. Loess and limestone.
Pale gold. Rather simple and floral.
Jancis Robinson, Note : 17/20
More rich and layered, the 2012 Hermitage Blanc is something. White currants, apricot, crushed rock and assorted tropical notes all show here, and it builds on the palate with plenty of texture, yet also stays clean and balanced, with integrated acidity and a big finish. Enjoy it over the coming 4-5 years (although I suspect it will last longer). A collaboration between the Perrin Family, of Beaucastel, and Nicolas Jaboulet, of the Jaboulet
family in the northern Rhone, this lineup is made mostly from purchased grapes (The Perrin’s own some of the vineyards in Crozes), with the wines
made using Beaucastel barrels in the north, and blended at the Perrin Family winery in the south. They are all well-made, high quality efforts.
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Note : 92/100, 2013-12-16
A new négociant house from Nicolas Jaboulet together with the Perrins of Château de Beaucastel. Rich, intense fruits inlaid with cinnamon and clove oak. Good weight, richness and fruit purity. Lots of ripe tannins. Fresh, long, mineral finish.
Decanter, Note : 94/100, 2017-01-02