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.
The vintage :
Following the cold months of January and February, the spring was intermittent with periods of sunshine and rain favourable to the growth of the vines. The summer was hot and dry with record temperatures in the middle of August. After a bit of rain mid-September, which allowed to swell up the grapes, the maturing continued when the sun returned. During this period, the days were hot and the nights were cool which provided a good sanitary state to the crop. Ideal conditions for a beautiful harvest which started around 20th September and finished around the 10th October.
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.
Syrah : 100%
Tasting notes :
The colour is not as intense as in 2007.
The nose is very rich on notes of black and red fruit. The nose then turns more complex and intense.
IN the mouth the tannins appear quite powerful and need to be left to soften a bit.
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
Primarily from Greffieux and Muret, the 2009 Hermitage exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as notes of sweet cassis and blackberries intermixed with hints of flowers, licorice and asphalt.
Wine Advocate, Note : 90+/100, 2011-12-01
Very sleek, with wonderfully pure damson plum, black berry and black currant fruit stitched with singed fennel seed, alder and black tea notes. Not as dense as the best, but with nice cut and persistence.
Wine Spectator, Wine Spectator, Note : 93/100, 2012-08-29
Big and round and mainly about ripeness rather than finesse. Very dense and solid. Dry finish, and not that subtle but the weight is there... Long.
Jancis Robinson, Note : 16,5/20