Chapoutier   Ermitage lErmite Blanc

2011 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc

By Chapoutier

The 2011 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier, Rhône

Drawing his inspiration from the diverse, luxurious terroirs of Rhône, Michel Chapoutier has crafted yet another masterpiece in the form of the 2011 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc. This wine is a testament to what can be achieved when an unfaltering year meets the committed craft of an adroit winemaker.

 

Investment potential cloaked in splendour

With an increasing number of savvy investors gravitating towards fine wines, the transparently rich l'Ermite Blanc anchors itself as an investable proposition. Each bottle is a beacon of elegance, capturing a unique expression of the challenging 2011 vintage; a tangible memento encapsulating the soul of the Rhône's mineral-rich soils.

Carrying Chapoutier's biodynamic philosophy and adept winemaking style in each tendril of its expressive bouquet, this wine is a melody harmonising layers of white fruits, quince, honeycomb and crystallised citrus notes with a salient mineral undercurrent.

 

2011: A Vintage with a challenge

The ebb and flow of sun and rain that marked 2011 gave way to a nervy equilibrium in the Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc. The weather produced sizeable hurdles for most vineyards in the Rhone region; it however also yielded an investment vintage for those astute enough to carefully monitor their yields.

In such climates, it is no easy task to achieve richness without ceding elegance but it is exactly this balance that is found in the glass. The vigorous and full-bodied palate is nuanced with strikes of acidity, echoing the weather’s unpredictable cadence.

The 2011 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier is poetry in a bottle, an extraordinary testament to the resilience of nature and the visionary winemaker who dared to seek beauty in adversity. The authentic charm of this vintage, combined with its assertive investment potential, embodies the very essence of viticultural virtuosity. An assured choice for the sophisticated wine investor who seeks the epitome of balance between aromatic richness and vibrant freshness.

Market price (HKD)

HK$29,070.00

12x75cl

Highest score

100

POP score

152

Scores and tasting notes

100

Always more dense, backward and focused, the 2011 Ermitage L’Ermite Blanc has everything I could want out of a white. Flower oil, apricot, honeysuckle, brioche, powdered rock and assorted tropical notes are just some of the nuances here, and this incredible wine is full-bodied and massive, yet elegant, fresh and delineated. Count yourself lucky if you’re able to latch onto a couple of these! This was an incredible tasting with Michel Chapoutier and his second hand man, Pierre-Henri Morel. Certainly one of the success stories in wine, which Robert Parker does a fabulous job of detailing in Issue 204, this estate goes from strength to strength in just about every appellation in the Rhone Valley. Looking specifically at Hermitage, Chapoutier owns a massive 64 acres, mostly on the famed Bessards lieu-dit, yet also with significant portions on Le Meal, L’Ermite and Les Greffieux, with smaller portions in the Beaume and Murets lieux-dits. From this he fashions five reds (Monier De La Sizeranne, Les Greffieux, Le Meal, Le Pavillon and L’Ermite) and four whites (Chante Alouette, Cuvee de l’Oree, Le Meal Blanc and L’Ermite Blanc), all of which are brilliant wines, with the best ranking up alongside the top wines in the world. In addition, his Saint Josephs (Les Granits and Le Clos) are some of the leading wines of the appellation (along with Guigal’s Vignes de l’Hospice and a few others), and his Cote Rotie La Mordoree, which comes from his 12 acres (split between the roughly defined Cote Blonde and Cote Brune regions), is always a classic example of the appellation. I was also able to taste through a full lineup of his Languedoc and Roussillon releases, all of which were impressive. I’ll review those wines in my 2014 coverage on those regions. Looking at the 2011 whites, these were all tasted by Robert Parker last year, but since I tasted through the lineup, I opted to include reviews here as well. Importer: Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900

Jeb Dunnuck - The Wine Advocate, 29 December 2013

Vintage performance