Chapoutier   Ermitage lErmite Blanc

2009 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc

By Chapoutier

2009 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier, Rhone

The 2009 vintage from Rhone Valley brings us something quite extraordinary in the form of the Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier, a captivating narrative in a bottle. This extraordinary Marsanne builds its own tempo, having metamorphosed in character and depth from its earlier years. The intensity of the 2009 vintage is particularly evident in the aromatic signature of this unique elixir.


A Unique Combination of Age and Climate

Creating fine wine takes a concurrence of multiple elements; age, region, climate - all play crucial roles. The 2009 Rhone vintage brought forth a fortuitously dry and remarkably warm summer which proffered an environment aptly conducive for Marsanne to thrive in.

Considered one of the most impressive vintages, Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier furnishes abundant evidence to support this - it seems to have extracted every possible nuance from the 2009 season.


A Convergence of Potent Flavours

The tasting expedition unfurls a rich tapestry with deep layers - venerable honey-drenched fruits are prominent on the nose, encapsulating aromatic pears and white peaches gilded with acacia blossom. On the palate, you're greeted with an opulent white wine, intertwined with invigorating mineral notes that lend to its audacious complexity.

Quince and yuzu citrus draw back the curtain for spices: saffron and ginger ignite a gentle heat that plays delightfully against the rich emollience of this esteemed wine.


A Paramount Investment!

The supreme stature coupled with its scarcity has picked it out as one of the subregion's fortes, making the 2009 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier a choice investment. It's a grand example of Rhone’s potential to craft exemplary, white wines that transform progressively over time. The last stop to this unique journey is the finish line which regales us with an unfathomably long and layered ending!

Take this splendid journey and let the 2009 Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier captivate you in ways only a Rhone wine can. Bask in its warmth, drink in its depth, and treasure what is quite simply a unique narrative, encapsulated exquisitely within a single glass.

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Scores and tasting notes


From pre-phylloxera Marsanne vines that are over 100 years of age and are not planted on American root stocks, the 2009 Ermitage l’Ermite Blanc (229 cases) reveals abundant notes of honeysuckle, a liqueur of wet stones, tannin (which no doubt comes from the sappiness in these old vines), extraordinary minerality, white fruits, quince and citrus oil. This amazing white wine must be tasted to be believed. It is so structured, intense and rich that it will unquestionably keep for a century. As I have written many times, all of these wines are produced from rigidly cultivated, bio-dynamically managed vineyards. That has been the rule since Michel Chapoutier first took over this firm in the late 1980s. Now, with over 20 years of biodynamic viticulture under his belt, Chapoutier remains committed to this rather radical style of organic farming. He believes the effect is to reduce rot in damp, rainy vintages. Moreover, he has observed that after 10 to 15 years of biodynamic farming, the natural acids tend to be more vivid and the overall pH of the soils (as well as the wines) has dropped. Controversial, outspoken and brutally candid, Chapoutier, who suffers no fools, continues to admirably produce wines that are among the finest in the world and potentially the longest lived. Refusing to acidify, chaptalize, or touch the wines in any way, he clearly wants every wine to capture the very essence of its terroir and vintage personality. In this, he succeeds remarkably. No one has made more effort in resurrecting the once-forgotten backwater appellation of St.-Peray than Michel Chapoutier. Working in conjunction with the famed Michelin three-star restaurant family, the Pics, Chapoutier has produced a sensational 2010 Gamme Pic and Chapoutier St.-Peray, and the first single-vineyard St.-Peray, the 2010 Lieu-Dit Peyrolles St.-Peray, which is one of the greatest St.-Perays I have ever tasted. This appellation is all steep hillside vineyards planted in pure, decomposed granite soils, not dissimilar from Hermitage, but they are located on the other side of the Rhone, facing the city of Valence. The single-vineyard wines, or selections parcellaires, 2010 whites are absolutely amazing, with production levels ranging from 300 to 700 or 800 cases of each cuvee. These wines are for true connoisseurs, as they are expensive and meant for long, long evolutions, but they capture the essence of a vintage and terroir as well as any wines in the world. As for the selections parcellaires of 2010 reds, Chapoutier likes this vintage almost as much as 2009, but feels it is very different, emphasizing more acidity and minerality, whereas 2009 is a combination of pure power, concentration and great potential longevity. Michel Chapoutier considers the 2009s, which are all in bottle, to be among the greatest wines he has ever produced, equaling his finest wines of 2006, 2003, 1999, 1990 and 1989 (his debut year). Importer: Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 22 December 2011

Vintage performance