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Top Collectible Wines

Top Collectible Wines

Top Collectible Wines

A person’s wine collection tells a lot about their passion and personality. While not every wine is for everyone, certain bottles simply command respect in a way that goes beyond personal taste. Every bottle is a reflection of the culture that produced it, the people who devoted hours and days, months and years to the art of winemaking, each grape carefully picked and processed when the time is just right. Some blends are so coveted, it takes you a decade to receive your first bottle, and the wait makes the wine that much sweeter. If a wine is worth adding to your collection, it performs astonishingly at any kind of social gathering and will create memories for years to come.

As a result, the market for top-quality wines grows every year. It is more important than ever to secure your spot on big waiting lists, as many brands produce only a small amount of wine annually. With how much wines can vary from year to year, due to the condition in which grapes grow, you don’t want to miss the best vintages. Part of our mission is helping people like you wrap their lips around the juiciest, most elegant blends we can find. While some people are in it for profit, we think the true joy of wine comes from tasting it, and sharing it with your closest friends, family, and loved ones. The sheer emotion that goes into winemaking rubs off on the person imbibing it, allowing you to peer through windows across time and space and rekindle your love for nature, and your love for humanity. Let’s explore this land of delicious swirling crimson together.
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2015 chapoutier hermitage le meal blanc Hermitage

Another perfect wine is the 2015 Ermitage le Meal Blanc. The most decadent, unctuous and layered in the lineup, with to-die-for notes of white currants, toasted nuts, celery seed and licorice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a huge mid-palate and a refreshing, pure, yet blockbuster finish that just won’t quit. If I had to pick a desert island white, this might be it.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPLovely, featuring waves of Jonagold apple, mirabelle plum, lemon curd and white peach flavors, all gilded with hints of honeysuckle, verbena and jasmine. Shows terrific range, with superior detail through the finish and lingering minerality adding length. Drink now through 2030. 636 cases made, 29 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSLurid yellow-gold. Penetrating aromas of ripe, mineral-accented citrus and pit fruits are complicated by hints of chalky minerals, saffron and chamomile. Juicy, smoky and deeply concentrated but lithe on the palate, offering densely packed peach nectar, pear liqueur, Meyer lemon and buttered toast flavors that show superb drive and focus. The mineral note repeats emphatically on the incisive, smoke-laced finish, which lingers with outstanding persistence.Vinous Media | 96 VMThis is dressed to impress with fresh oak framing up fragrant, ripe and slightly tarry black-fruit and cassis aromas. Pepper and graphite, too. The palate is superbly weighted, showing a classic interplay of elegance and power. Deeply succulent blackberries and black cherries snap fresh into the finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2021.James Suckling | 96 JS

100
RP
As low as $499.00
1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc

This is one of the greatest dry white wines I have ever tasted. The 1999 Ermitage l’Ermite is a liquid mineral, crystalline expression. It is the essence of its grape as well as terroir. It may be the greatest expression of terroir I have seen outside of a handful of Alsatian Rieslings (Clos Ste. Hune comes to mind). It has that transparent character that terroiristes talk more about than actually recognize. Drinking it is like consuming a liquified stony concoction mixed with white flowers, licorice, and honeyed fruits. It is frightfully pure, dense, and well-delineated. As I said last year, "There is no real fruit character, just glycerin, alcohol, and liquid stones." That’s about it, but, wow, what an expression! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. This is for the connoisseur of rare wines. Along with Gerard and Jean-Louis Chave, Chapoutier is producing the finest expressions of white Hermitage. His single vineyard cuvees are to die for if you like these eccentric, idiosyncratic, mammoth dry whites.Robert Parker | 100 RPNo written review provided. | 93 W&SBeautiful. Thick, yet so reserved aromatically, with plenty of honey, mineral, macadamia nut, pear tart and passion fruit. What makes it a winner is the opulent, smooth texture. Drink now through 2010. 380 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS(from 70-to-80-year-old vines planted on granite soil; done entirely in new barriques) Spiced apple, minerals and toffee on the nose. Bright, firm, minerally and quite stylish. Very fine in the mouth and on the suave finish, which features oak notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.Vinous Media | 90+ VMYou call it Hermitage, they call it Ermitage; regardless, this is one smooth, waxy wine with mature peach aromas and papaya flavors that spread across your palate like sea foam on the beach. The toasty finish is soft and subdued, with hints of licorice and pepper. Quite complex and idiosyncratic; it’s the polar opposite of “mainstream.” Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

100
RP
As low as $1,399.00
2018 e. guigal ermitage ex voto blanc Hermitage

Built for the long haul, the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc is a majestic, noble white that could only come from this incredible, south-facing hillside in Hermitage. Revealing a light gold hue as well as notes of quince, honeyed minerality, toasted spices, orange marmalade, and spring flowers, this deep, rich, and full-bodied white has absorbed just about every trace of its oak élevage and has a concentrated, rich, yet focused and lengthy style. This cuvée had a more oaky, opulent style in the past, but today it comes across as a much more pure, elegant wine while not giving an inch with regard to density, texture, and concentration. As with just about every top Hermitage Blanc today, this offers plenty of immediate pleasure with its pure, fresh, mineral-laced style. Don’t discount how much pleasure these wines can offer in their youth and always ignore the "always too young" crowd. This 2018 is going to evolve gracefully and drink brilliantly for 5-7 years, then (maybe) go into a closed, almost oxidative stage, only to emerge after 5-7 years and evolve for decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDFull-bodied and rounded, with firm acidity and salinity. The oak has taken over at this early stage and will always be quite dominant, however the fruit is deep and should harmonise with the wood in time. Very long and ending with butterscotch and quince, the élevage will always be a strong feature of the wine, but the depth is there for long ageing. For release in 2022. 100% new oak barriques. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038.Decanter | 96 DECThe last time I saw the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc, it came across as opulent and fruit-forward. Now that it’s in bottle (and scheduled to be released in February 2022), it’s less tropical, showing more restraint and (perhaps) greater aging potential. Hints of toasted grain, lime custard and scorched lemon zest appear on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is rich, delivering notes of toasted marshmallow and a heavily textured, slightly coarse texture, but finishes long.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

100
JD
As low as $195.00
2020 m. chapoutier ermitage le meal blanc Hermitage

I was blown away by the 2020 Ermitage Le Méal Blanc, which is certainly the finest vintage of this cuvée I’ve tasted. From the pure south-facing Méal lieu-dit (which is the warmest terroir on Hermitage), it was vinified and aged 70% demi-muids (10% new) and 30% in stainless steel. Straight-up heavenly notes of white currants, powdered rock, celery seed, honeysuckle, and toasted almonds all define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with that rare mix of richness and freshness. Hermitage Blanc doesn’t get any better. I love this today, yet it will certainly benefit from a year or two of bottle age, drink well for 3-5 years, at which point, it’s probably best to wait until a solid 15 years after the vintage.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThis relatively warm, early-ripening terroir has yielded a wine that’s full-bodied yet with an almost custard-like silky texture. Toasted grain, lemon custard, crushed stone, pear and melon notes mingle easily on the nose of Chapoutier’s 2020 Ermitage le Méal Blanc. The long, zesty finish is marked by a slight hint of bitterness that seems to come into this parcellaire from time to time.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPAlmond, quince and a touch of rhubarb at this early stage; you sense the ripeness, but it’s not exotically fruity in 2020. The silkiness and glycerol on the palate are quite present, this sample shows plentiful oak, lending matchstick and cashew to the finish. An elegant vintage of Le Méal. Well-balanced, far from massive, not as powerful or concentrated as the past few vintages, this will drink well young and age into the medium term. Not a hugely-long lived Méal I suspect, but a delightful one nonetheless. There is generous alcohol, but it’s not unbalanced. (Drink between 2023-2040)Decanter | 96 DEC

100
JD
As low as $199.00
2010 chapoutier hermitage le pavillon Hermitage

Tasting like the concentrated blood from an aged and grilled strip steak, the 2010 Ermitage Le Pavillon boasts a black/purple color along with creme de cassis, camphor, pen ink, white flower and lead pencil shaving characteristics in its massive, full-bodied personality. It almost defies description because of its ethereal concentration and off-the-charts extract levels. This is not for the faint of heart, or those who lack patience, as it will require 10-15 years of bottle age, and, as previously stated, will keep for 50 or more. There are just over 1,000 cases of the 2010 Le Pavillon, another perfect wine in the constellation of profound wines produced by Michel Chapoutier.In November of this year, Michel Chapoutier finally made the cover of The Wine Spectator. The accompanying article said essentially the same things I had written about over twenty years ago. More importantly, I am thrilled that Chapoutier received this attention because it has long been deserved. History will record that Michel Chapoutier is a revolutionary. He is also a highly emotional man whose infectious love of primitive art, historic books, classical music and, of course, terroir and winemaking are seemingly impossible to harness. Michel Chapoutier was among the first in France to embrace the radical biodynamic agricultural teachings, for which he was initially criticized, but is now praised. He was also the first to print all his labels in Braille, something that cynics considered to be a gimmick, but ask the National Association for the Blind what they think. Coming from a famous family, but moving in a direction unlike any of its previous members, Michel Chapoutier is self-taught. What he has accomplished over the last two decades or more is one of the great wine stories of the modern era. With all his outgoing, boisterous, machine-gun-speed prose that can sometimes sound shockingly cocky, and at other times reminiscent of the famous Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, there is never a dull moment around Chapoutier., who makes comments such as “Filtering wine is like making love with a condom,” and “Acidifying wine is like putting a suit of armor on the vineyard’s terroir, vintage character and the cepage.” Don’t blame him if his brilliant intellect and shocking vocabulary put his visitors on the defensive. Michel Chapoutier has proven through his genius, the faith of his convictions and backbreaking attention to detail in his vineyards and in the winery that a once moribund negociant (yet with significant vineyard holdings) could become a beacon of inspiration and quality for the entire world. In short, every wine consumer in the world should admire his accomplishments. All of Chapoutier’s lower level 2010 whites and basic reds have long been sold out, so to keep the tasting somewhat limited during my visit, we focused on the more recently released 2010 white and red selections parcellaires and nearly all the 2011s. As for the 2010 selection parcellaire whites, they are spectacular. Le Pavillon, once called Rochefine and owned by Jaboulet-Verchere, consists of 10 acres of pure granite in the famed Les Bessards, which is considered by many to be the single greatest terroir of Hermitage. The Ermitage Le Pavillon, which is meant to age for 50+ years, is Michel Chapoutier’s legacy, and he is confident that history will support his belief in this extraordinary wine. Michel Chapoutier is not alone in believing the 2011s may resemble a more modern day version of 1991. That vintage was largely underrated by just about everybody (except yours truly) because all the accolades and hyperbole were largely bestowed on both 1989 and 1990 (deservedly), but in the Northern Rhone 1991 turned out to be a strikingly superb vintage for Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas and Condrieu. In the Southern Rhone, the vintage was largely a disaster. Following is an overview of what to expect with the inexpensive 2011 whites and reds. Most of these wines do not have the weight, power or tannic structure of the 2010s, but they are by no means diluted or wimpish wines. They tend to be charming, fruit-forward and seductive, and thus may be preferred by consumers looking for immediate gratification. Although the first few wines reviewed are Southern Rhones, they need to be covered because they are in bottle, and I did not review them in issue 203. Along with several other producers, Michel Chapoutier has helped increase the world’s attention to the long-forgotten, microscopic appellation of St.-Peray. Chapoutier produces a bevy of St.-Perays under his own name as well as in partnership with two three-star chefs, Sophie Pic, of the Restaurant Pic in Valence (as well as several culinary branches in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland), and Yannick Alleno, the brilliant chef at the Hotel Le Meurice’s in Paris. The red 2011 selections parcellaires are already fruit-forward and seductive. Readers should love them as they are much more evolved than the more structured, powerful, dense, tannic 2010s.Robert Parker | 100 RP(M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Hermitage, Rhône, France, Red) Sometimes the setting in which you taste a wine helps to fix it in your mind. I tasted this at the Chapel of Saint Christopher on the hill of Hermitage, looking down over the vineyards - a magical spot at the best of times. I was expecting this to be quite closed and introspective, but it's already unfurling, and beginning its first drinking window, quite mature in colour, open and ready for business. It has a beautifully aromatic nose, complex notes of plum, blackberry, glove leather, black olive tapenade and a little hedgerow. Very fresh and alive. Great impact and concentration on the palate, remarkably saline, very intense, but so lively and vivid. Texturally it's velvety, saline, bright and pixelated. Long finish. A hugely complex and dynamic wine, the spirit of Hermitage. (Drink between 2020-2034)Decanter | 99 DECDensely packed, with zesty loganberry, blueberry coulis, plum skin and blackberry paste flavors, presenting a hefty backdrop of ganache and graphite that takes over on the very long finish. A lovely alder note echoes in the background. Best from 2018 through 2028. 43 cases imported. — JMWine Spectator | 97 WSInky purple. Heady, exotically perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, candied flowers, Indian spices and cracked pepper. Stains the palate with intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors, picking up a sweet violet pastille note with aeration. Dense but lively and strikingly precise given its concentration. Shows superb finishing energy and focus, closing with amazing length and slow-building, harmonious tannins. This wine is built for the long haul; I wouldn't touch it for at least another decade.Vinous Media | 96 VM

100
RP
As low as $439.00
2013 chapoutier hermitage de loree Hermitage

Leading off three single-vintage whites from Hermitage, the stunning 2013 Ermitage Cuvee de L’Orée has an off-the-hook bouquet that includes just about everything you could think of when considering Hermitage Blanc. White peach, white flowers, almond paste, quince and wet rock are just some of the nuances, and it packs a serious punch on the palate, with full-bodied richness, a flamboyant, expansive texture and riveting focus and purity. Give it a year or so and drink it over the following 2-3 decades.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThis has a weighty, honeyed feel, with lots of heather, salted butter, warm piecrust and toasted macadamia nut notes leading the way, followed by creamed melon and yellow apple fruit. Lovely twinges of white ginger and mirabelle plum lend cut and contrast at the end. Drink now through 2030. 43 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSLight yellow-gold. An impressively complex bouquet evokes ripe citrus and orchard fruits, iodine and white flowers, and a hint of smoky minerals emerges with air. Sappy, penetrating and focused on the palate, offering intense Meyer lemon, quince, ginger and sweet butter flavors that deepen and spread out on the back half. Powerful and deeply concentrated yet graceful, finishing with superb energy and lingering floral and mineral notes. The vines from which this wine is sourced are in the Les Murets lieu-dit.Vinous Media | 95 VM

100
RP
As low as $215.00

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