2018 Ermitage l'Ermite
2018 Ermitage l'Ermite from Chapoutier, Rhone
The 2018 release of Ermitage l'Ermite from renowned producer Chapoutier reveals new dimensions to this wine of stature and distinction. Known for their stringent and unabated commitment to high-quality wines, Chapoutier has once again asserted itself firmly among the crowning achievements of the Rhone region.
Distinct climatic conditions yield a notable vintage
The climate of 2018 was characterised by its warm summer and drier-than-usual conditions, thereby pushing the boundaries for what is possible within the realm of Syrah. Grapes harvested this year demonstrate a harmonious balance of acidity and sugar levels, leading to wines with an astounding depth of flavour and consistency.
The Ermitage l'Ermite is a testament to these climatic conditions; expressing itself through ripe dark fruit flavours of blackberry layered with intense undertones of spice and liquorice. Yet, this wine remains unmistakably 'Syrah', retaining its characteristic pepperiness amidst all the opulence.
Intricate notes make an investable wine
This seductive soul of the Rhone Valley showcases what makes 2018 a promising prospect for investors: unparalleled concentration and structure that bodes well for long-term cellaring. It is also worth noting the refined display of finesse contributed by ageing in French oak, further enhancing the Ermitage l’Ermite's potential as a sound investment.
What sets the 2018 vintage apart from other years is its superb balance between power and grace, a dance between opulence and austerity that is incredibly rare. Wines such as this are a visual tale of their travails, reflecting the unique circumstances requisite to their creation.
A paragon of Rhone winemaking
The 2018 Ermitage l'Ermite, brimming with robust flavours, declares a vintage year of distinction in the Rhone's wine chronicles. Integral to wine investment portfolios, Chapoutier offers a unique combination of depth, complexity and longevity - encapsulated beautifully in this majestic bottle.
From the formidable terrains of Hermitage hill this 'monk' has arisen, personifying Chapoutier's dedication to winemaking craftsmanship, and standing as a bold testament to the exceptional climatic conditions of 2018.
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Scores and tasting notes
As usual, Chapoutier's 2018 Ermitage l'Ermite is a standout among standouts. Crushed stone, blueberries, even a touch of herb feature on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is cool and crunchy but also ripe and generous. It's rich and long, with a firm, granitic structure that should enable two-plus decades of aging. This has it all.
Joe Czerwinski - The Wine Advocate, 19 December 2019