2003 Ermitage l'Ermite
2003 Ermitage l'Ermite from Chapoutier, Rhone
The 2003 vintage of Chapoutier's North Rhône masterpiece, Ermitage l'Ermite, is the embodiment of a harmonious alliance between nature’s capriciousness and human craftsmanship. This distinguished vintage holds the door wide open to an unparalleled wine investing experience.
Fierce Yet Elegant, A true Testament to its Unyielding Terroir
Crafted by the diligent hands at Chapoutier, this 2003 rendition expertly captures the intense heat and drama of that unforgettable summer; a year when the muscle of the Mediterranean sun flexed its raw might over the terrain of the Rhone. Its austere granite soils withstood the sun's onslaught, creating an ambience for grapes that bred unbridled power paired with unexpected elegance.
Opening the bottle unleashes a profound bouquet of black fruit and truffle, interwoven with smoky notes and whispers of leather and dried herbs. The journey embarked upon in each sip starts from profound dark plum flavours and incrementally reveals layers of olives, charcuterie, and exotic spices.
Searing Heat, Transformed into Liquid Opulence
The intensity witnessed in 2003 was nothing short of transformative in forging this vintage. Sun-scorched vineyards worked to develop deeply concentrated Syrah grapes, which in turn transcended their earthy birthplace into opulent nectar proudly reflecting its provenance.
This vintage’s gentle tannins wrap the palate with a satin-luxe texture. The precision found herein echoes each sip - it’s a crescendo leading towards boundless depth on an unhurried finish.
As an investment piece, it is not overstating to say that the 2003 Ermitage l'Ermite from Chapoutier may be one of the most genuinely intriguing and rewarding elements to grace your portfolio. Its ability to capture the intensity of that sweltering summer, transferring it into such a considered and beautifully orchestrated masterstroke of viniculture, positions this particular vintage in a class of its own. An eloquent representation of Rhone's indomitable spirit, undeniably worth its place in any discerning wine investors' collection.
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Scores and tasting notes
More youthful and backwards, the 2003 Ermitage L’Ermite has additional minerality, as well as the focus and purity that’s always imparted by this tiny lieu-dit. Inky purple in color, it offers up spectacular creme de cassis, blackberry, charred meats, graphite and toast as well as a full-bodied, massively concentrated profile on the palate. It’s a prodigious, insanely good wine that should be given another 2-3 years in the cellar, and enjoyed over the following two to three decades. Finishing harvest at the end of August, Michel Chapoutier produced a monumental lineup of wines in 2003, and enough can’t be said about the quality coming for this estate. To say I was blown away would be an understatement.
Jeb Dunnuck - The Wine Advocate, 29 April 2014