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 :
After the solar and Mediterranean 2015 vintage, 2016 is very structured and fresh. The wines are flattering right from the first months but their balance will carry them for many years.
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.
Natural winemaking, with yeasts native to Demi-Muids, the malo-lactic fermentation made naturally. Maturing on fermentation lees for 9 months.
Tasting notes :
Pretty yellow colour, dense with green undertones. The nose is complex and subtle with a mixture of ripe fruit (quince, honey) and fresh fruit (peach, lemon, acacia flowers, sweet spices). The attack is powerful and then develops into a beautiful balanced wine, rich and persistent. The finish is long, aromatic and very elegant.
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.
Limpid yellow. Vibrant, mineral-laced Meyer lemon and pear scents are complemented by a deeper honey nuance. Tightly wound orchard and pit fruit flavors unfurl steadily with air, picking up a citrus pith character and a touch of fennel. Leaves behind tangy mineral and orange zest notes on a very long, sharply defined, penetrating finish.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Note : 92/100, 2018-05-14
Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France, Note : 15/20, 2018-08-00