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 a very dry winter and beginning of spring, Mai and June were rainy and sunny at the time, which was beneficial to the vine. On the edge of summer, we were in advance but an intense heat wave blocked the maturities. These conditions needed an exceptional effort in the vines to prevent illnesses and to get the grapes into a very satisfying sanitary state. The harvest started in middle of September. We noticed differences in the maturities depending on the areas, which led to continuing the picking until the first days of October. The yields were also quite different depending on the appellation and parcels.
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 12/13C. You can also keep this wine a few years and drink it when aromas of dried fruit have developed.
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
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
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
A marriage between Famille Perrin and Nicolas Jaboulet, this small operation has the luxury of being dedicated simply to the wines. They don’t need to produce large quantities to cover costs, so they think small and focus all of their energy on quality. Isn’t that refreshing? This particular Hermitage Blanc perfectly exemplifies Maison Nicolas Perrin’s dedication to perfection. Elegant and complex, this great white Rhône shows its ability to support both fruit and oak flavors. Dense and rich with creamy texture and ripe peach fruit plus a hint of toasted oak; lush, juicy with amazing depth, elegance and subtle power; an extraordinary and rare wine from a great vintage.
The Tasting Panel, Note : 92/100