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 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.
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.
Vinified in barrels. Ageing in barrels for 12 months.
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.
This is an even split of Marsanne and Roussanne from the Maison Blanche and Roucoules plots on the high eastern side of Hermitage – a good blend as they have quite different characters. These are both grapes that will have suffered less in the heat than the Viognier, but you still feel the rich roundness of the fruit. It has that lovely touch of bitterness on the finish that is so typical of Hermitage Blanc, a dot of spice and saffron enclosing the citrus. It’s gourmet and enticing, with salty toasted almonds bringing up the rear. Extremely mouthwatering, this begs to be drunk while enjoying tapas with friends. 12 months ageing in barrel, no need to rush this.
Decanter, Note : 95/100, 2018-09-06
Note that the 2017 Hermitage Blanc Maison Les Alexandrins is a négociant wine. A blend of Marsanne and Roussanne from Maison Blanche and les Roucoules, it boasts ripe aromas of honeyed pineapple. It has a full-bodied, lush and creamy palate rounded out by tropical fruit and a plump, succulent finish. Drink it over the next few years.
Wine Advocate, Note : 91/100, 2018-10-31
“The 2017 Hermitage Blanc is a rocking blend of Marsanne and
Roussanne that has classic white fruits, salty minerality, white flowers,
and hints of tangerine all soaring from the glass. Rich, medium to fullbodied, concentrated, with good acidity and purity, it’s a classically
structured, age-worthy white that does everything right.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 92/100, 2018-12-20