1996 Chapoutier Hermitage L'Ermite

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Wine Critic Reviews for 1996 Chapoutier Hermitage L'Ermite

A blockbuster red wine, delivering heavyweight power with amazing finesse. Thick, ripe, rich and superextracted, it's inky-dark, full-bodied, tastes of the earth, cassis and blackberry, mocha and spice, ink, iron, mineral and blood, with a massive amount of full, ripe and sweet tannins. A monumental effort from the Northern Rhône. Best from 2005 through 2020. 500 cases made. —

Wine Spectator | 98 WS
There are three luxury cuvees of Hermitage in 1996. A new cuvee, and potentially a perfect wine, is the 1996 Hermitage l'Hermite. Three thousand bottles are produced from a small parcel of old vines (believed to be over 100 years old) located close to the tiny white chapel on the steepest part of the Hermitage hill. Yields were 9 hectoliters per hectare. A totally different expression of Hermitage, this is a blockbuster, dense, chewy, highly extracted, monster Hermitage the likes of which consumers and professionals rarely encounter. The opaque purple/black color, gorgeously sweet nose of minerals and cassis fruit, unctuous texture, and thick, brooding power and richness is the stuff of legends. However, this wine is extremely high in tannin, and has tangy acidity (a hallmark of the 1996 vintage), so it will need a minimum of 10-15 years of cellaring. Are readers paying attention? Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040.

Robert Parker | 96-100 RP
(Maison Chapoutier Hermitage L'Ermite) Deep ruby-violet color. Liqueur-like aromas of kirsch, smoked meat, licorice, minerals and cocoa powder. Great sweetness on entry, then completely wrapped up in its structure. But this wine is fat and packed with black fruit and violet flavor. Powerful tannins are a bit dustier than those of Chapoutier's '96 Ermitage Le Pavillon. At once large-scaled and quite refined. Impressive.

Vinous Media | 92-95 VM

More Information
Vintage 1996
Color Red
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Producer M. Chapoutier
Rating 98 WS
Region Rhone: While the Northern Rhone produces only about 5% of all wine coming out of the Rhone Valley, the quality of these bottles is not to be underestimated. The terroir in this region is heavenly for growing Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne or Rousanne - the only permitted grapes in the AOC. Picture this - the Rhone flows through the valley like an azure thread piercing the landscape, a reflection of the dreamy skies hovering above the vineyards, ready to produce rainfall at a moment's notice. The rocky soil of the steep, almost surreal hillsides provides a bountiful feast for the grapevine roots. The flavors and texture of Northern Rhone wines tell you everything you need to know as soon as your lips touch the elixir, like a whisper in the vigorous valley winds As per the Southern Rhone wine, it is like taking a plunge into a whirlpool of juicy flavor. Every sip explodes forward like a crashing tsunami, bathing your tastebuds in delicious aromas of prune, chocolate, grass, and black fruit. The wines are so compelling that it can be hard to drink them casually at a social event without getting lost in their intricate textures and emotional depths. Let's set sail together, and drink deep from these luxurious bottles with our friends and loved ones.
Type of Wine Hermitage: Hermitage provides a bouquet of scents and flavors with a texture that cannot be fully deciphered. Expect to be blown away by an orchestral composition of primal blackberries and black raspberries, earthy minerals, playful spice and a thick bassline of smoke. Their immense aging potential makes them ideal candidates for hoarding in your cellar!
Varietal Shiraz/Syrah: Syrah, or also commonly known as Shiraz is one of the darkest thick and full-bodied wine filled with aromatic hints of blueberry, blackberry, and some spicy peppery notes. Primarily grown in France, you can easily find a bottle throughout Australia, Spain, Italy, Chile, and Argentina.
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