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 :
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.
Syrah : 100%
Tasting notes :
Pretty deep black colour. The nose is powerful, dense and complex with a beautiful aromatic complexity with intense notes of black fruit (cherry, blackberries), tobacco, cocoa and noble wood sap. On the palate, the attack is rich and generous, with a balanced evolution developing into a magnificent combination between the elegant tannic texture and the aromas of tobacco and exotic spices. The finish is powerful and aromatic, with great length.
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.
It’s rare to have new entrants into Hermitage, as the hill is divided up pretty tightly between the big names, so it’s great to see Maison Les Alexandrins bottling a wine here. And although they don’t own the vines, they did once belong to winemaker Guillaume Sorrel’s great grandfather. This is velvety in the mouth, with rich and dense aromatics. There’s such incredible density of flavour and texture - settle back and watch this develop over the next decade. This wine is the most expensive in the range, but you are getting serious complexity and ageing potential for the money.
Decanter, Note : 95/100, 2018-09-06
The 2017 Hermitage from Maison Les Alexandrins instantly begins to impress with its seductive aromatics of ripe black cherries and black raspberries, which come together with spices and violets that are underlined by crushed stones and oak nuances. On the palate this is full-bodied, beautifully polished and velvety, with no hard-edges making for an absolutely plush, seamless mouthfeel. It displays excellent concentration with plenty of ripe dark fruit and spice flavors that continue to build up to the finish. While this is nothing short of delicious today, it should also evolve nicely with some short-term cellaring and could go on to age beautifully for well over a decade.
International Wine Report, Note : 93/100, 2020-03-11