Chapoutier   Ermitage Cuvee de lOree

2008 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree

By Chapoutier

2008 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree from Chapoutier, Rhone

A product of the prestigious Rhone valley, the 2008 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree from Chapoutier is an emblem of rich heritage and meticulous craftsmanship. This vintage underlines the producer's esteemed reputation as one of the vinicultural world's ultimate pioneers.


Rhone Royalty: A breviloquent tapestry of terroir

Nourished by the generosity of Rhône’s sun-dappled terrains, this Chardonnay-centric wine is a testament to the Chapoutier house’s dedication to their craft. They've accomplished a vivacious wine that not only mesmerises with its complexity but also offers tantalising hints at the longevity it promises - a trait wine investors will surely cherish.

Enveloping the palate, the symphonic interplay of honeyed tropical fruits, toasted almonds transforming into a crescendo of precise mineral notes create a harmony that leaves an unforgettable echo on the senses.


2008: A vintage worth venerating

Typifying the exceptional 2008 vintage, this Cuvee de l'Oree presents itself as an invitation to indulge in Rhone's enological wonders. A cooler and wetter summer followed by a sun-blessed autumn allowed these grapes to mature slowly and develop aromas with stunning depth enhancing its investment allure.

This vintage stands its own alongside any other, its compelling aura resonating with a chorus of apricot confit, buttered brioche, and white flower undertones that sets it apart even amid the lineup of Chapoutier’s illustrious back catalogue.


Cuvee de l’Oree: An Investment in Elegance

Investment-wise, the 2008 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree from Chapoutier has demonstrated compelling performance. Much akin to a virtuoso knowing when to crescendo, choose your moment to uncork or further invest in this fine example of Rhone's expressive terroir will be a decision well met with nodding approval from connoisseurs.

Nestled between the engaging depth and the inimitable charisma of this finely crafted vintage lies an investment opportunity as rewarding as it is tastefully intriguing.

Market price (GBP)



Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


Slightly better is the 600-case cuvee of 2008 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree. This brilliant white Hermitage from the top of the granite dome of this appellation offers notes of roasted hazelnuts, nectarine oil, citrus, quince and crushed rocks. Astonishingly full-bodied and rich, particularly in view of the vintage conditions, it is exceeded in quality ever so slightly by the two white Hermitages that follow. Other extraordinary efforts readers should be watching for include the 2009 Bila Haut Lesquerde, a Syrah dominated wine that I scored in the upper-90s. Equally as profound, but made from a completely different blend is the Bila Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages La Tour de France, which is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah. Both of these offerings are as remarkable as wine can be. From Australia, some wines to take note of include the Domaine Tournon 2009 Shiraz (or Syrah), an outstanding red sold at a fair price, and his single vineyard offerings the 2009 Shiraz Shays’ Flat and the 2009 Shiraz Landsborough, both extraordinary, mid-90 point Syrahs from Victoria. Also, readers should not forget his 2009 La Pleiade M45, a Syrah from the Cambrian soils of Heathcote. An Australian wine that flirts with perfection, which I had never tasted before, is the 2009 Shiraz One Shot from Beechworth, which is like a liqueur of blueberries and raspberries intermixed with graphite, tar and minerality. Other stunning offerings from Domaine Terlato and Chapoutier include the 2009 Shiraz Malakoff (rated 92-94) and the 2009 Shiraz L Block (rated 93-95+). Last, but not least, Michel Chapoutier has entered the Portuguese wine arena, producing two extraordinary wines from a 5-hectare parcel in the Douro. The 2009 Touriga Nacional (rated 94-96) comes from pure schist soils. It reveals incredible floral notes intermixed with sweet blueberry, black raspberry and cassis. As amazing as it is, it may be surpassed by the 2009 Touriga Nacional Pinteivera from Pinhao. It is undeniably the single greatest red Portuguese wine I have ever tasted. It, too, is from schist soils. Both of these wines are remarkable efforts from what may be the world’s leading, irreverent genius in winemaking and winemaking philosophy. And one more thing about the remarkable Michel Chapoutier, he now has property in Alsace, Domaine Schieferkopf. I tasted a 2009 Riesling (rated 89), 2009 Riesling Buehl (rated 93), and 2009 Riesling Fels (rated 94). All are very dry, crisp, medium to full-bodied Rieslings from the Andlau sector of northern Alsace. These remarkable whites come from schist soils and Chapoutier has again demonstrated his Midas touch with a completely different varietal. Michel Chapoutier is firmly convinced that 2009 is the greatest vintage in his lifetime, which means 2009 surpasses 2003 (he made some great wines in that unusual vintage), 1999, 1990 and 1989 (his debut vintage after taking over the firm). These wines are all produced by bio-dynamically farmed vineyards. Moreover, there is no chaptalization or acidification, and as Michel Chapoutier says, he wants to capture each vintage in photographic detail. It is also important to recognize Chapoutier’s life philosophy, which, rather than being obsessed with correcting one’s faults, is dedicated to capitalizing on one’s strengths. For all of his charm and bravado, Chapoutier is the quintessential man of the soil, a true terroiriste dedicated to producing the most vivid, natural and unadulterated expressions of the many different vineyards with which he works. While 2009 was a perfect year of extraordinary concentration as well as freshness, the 2008 vintage experienced huge rainstorms on September 5, 6 and 8. However, Chapoutier argues that while his bio-dynamically farmed vineyards suffered from some dilution, they had no sanitary problems like many other estates endured. Certainly his 2008s appear to be among the strongest efforts in a disappointing vintage in the Northern Rhone. One expects Chapoutier to excel with his four Hermitage vineyards (Le Pavillon, l’Ermite, Le Meal and Les Greffieux). Tasting through the 2009s reinforces the belief that this is one of the all-time great vintages for the entire Northern Rhone Valley. It couldn’t happen at a better time. While certain 2003s are great, there really hasn’t been an overall consistently profound vintage in the Northern Rhone since 1990. Connoisseurs should be stocking up on the single vineyard offerings, both white and red, which are spectacular. Michel Chapoutier makes a bevy of other wines that merit a few notes because they are so good. Even though they are not from my areas of responsibilities, I thought I would mention a few that stood out when I tasted with him. Like an itinerant genius, Chapoutier has projects in Australia, Portugal and southern France. I and my colleague David Schildknecht have written about his exquisite offerings from the Cotes du Roussillon under the label Domaine de Bila Haut, and his partnership with the Laughton family for his Agly Brothers Cotes du Roussillon rouge. These wines all merit attention from consumers. Importer: Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 27 February 2011

Vintage performance