Chapoutier Hermitage Rhone Wine, Complete Guide

ChapoutierDomaine1 Chapoutier Hermitage Rhone Wine, Complete Guide

Everything about Chapoutier, Hermitage, Rhone wine producer profile with wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews and images. If you want to read about other important wineries and wine makers from the Rhone valley: Links to all Rhone Valley Wine Producer Profiles

Chapoutier Hermitage History, Overview

Chapoutier is one of the oldest names in the Rhone valley. Founded in 1808 by the Calvet family, it was sold to the Chapoutier family in 1855. The Calvet family sold the company to focus on their large, expanding negociant firm in Bordeaux. Polydore Chapoutier was the first of the Chapoutier family to head the company, and the only head of the firm not to have a name that started with the letter M. That tradition began with the next generation, started by Marius Chapoutier.

Today, Chapoutier is a massive negociant and winery located in the Rhone valley their offices are situated in the small community of Tain Hermitage. Chapoutier is both a negociant and wine maker. They are active all over the Rhone valley in every major appellation. Chapoutier makes great wine at every price level, from very expensive wines at the top end, to value wines from Cotes du Rhone.

The best wines produced by Chapoutier are their single vineyard wines from Hermitage. They also make top quality Chateauneuf du Pape and two Cote Rotie wines from 5 hectares of vines. An entry level wine, Becasses and the more expensive La Mordoree. Chapoutier also producers entry level Cotes du Rhone wines that offer some of the best for wine lovers in the marketplace today.

Michel Chapoutier and his brother Marc took over managing Chapoutier in the very late 1980’s. Michel accomplished this by forcing his father from the family business. Those actions did not help the reputation of Michel Chapoutier in the wine world, or with family. He did not have much time to prove himself.

When Michel Chapoutier took over the company, they were producing on average close to 550,000 bottles of wine. By 2012, that number grew to more than 7,000,000 bottles per year! Much of that growth was due to purchasing as much vineyard land as possible. Today, Chapoutier owns close to 25% of the entire appellation. Prior to being headed by Michel Chapoutier, Domaine Chapoutier was known for producing lighter styled wines. That changed in 1989 with their Hermitage wines, especially the Chpoutier Le Pavillon Hermitage. The following year, they turned around their Chateauneuf du Pape. The year after that, their Cote Rote property Mordoree was at the top of their game as well.

A large part of the reason for their success is due to the decisions made by the young, brash, Michel Chapoutier. He became the first wine maker in Hermitage to focus on producing small batches of wines made from specific sites. He lowered the yields, aged his wine in up to 100% new, French oak barrels and picked fruit when it was at full levels of ripeness. He also moved to a bio-dynamic farming approach. Today, these techniques are considered common place. But in 1989, they were well outside the mainstream in the Rhone Valley.

In 1995, Chapoutier made changes in their vineyard techniques and on the label. At that time, Chapoutier insisted all their labels contain braille transcription’s as well as English printing. That same year saw an even bigger change when their northern Rhone and southern Rhone vineyards became 100% biodynamcally farmed. Since that point in time, there was no looking back for the estate or their wines.

Chapoutier Hermitage Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking

In the Hermitage appellation, they own 26 hectares of vines in some of the best terroir in the region. They also purchased close to 5.5 hectares of vines from other growers. The most important and collectible Chapoutier Hermitage wines come from specific plots in Hermitage, Le Pavillon, Le Meal, L’Ermite and most recently, Les Greffieux, which made its debut in 2001.

All the single vineyard red Chapoutier Hermitage wines are produced from grapes that have been 100% destemmed. The berries receive 4-6 week macerations in concrete vats. Vinification takes place in open top fermenters. The wines are aged in 40-50% new, French oak barrels. The wines are never fined or filtered. Yields are purposely low at Chapoutier, which aids in the concentration of the wine. To give you an idea, the yields can be as low as 15 hectoliters per hectare. Michel Chapoutier uses biodynamic farming techniques for all his vineyards. properties.

Chapoutier Le Pavillon made its debut as a new wine in 1989. Prior vintages were produced from much younger vines from a blend of different vineyards. This 100% Syrah wine comes from old vines, some of which are approaching 100 years of age. Chapoutier Le Pavillon is produced from a terroir of steep granite soils placed on the hillsides of Les Bessards. Chapoutier Le Pavillon with its annual production of close to 7,000 bottles per vintage is the largest production of single vineyard Hermitage wines from Chapoutier. This should give you an idea of how little wine is made from these micro productions, year after year.

Chapoutier Le Meal, which had its first vintage in 1996 is produced from 100% old vine Syrah planted in the 1940’s. The oldest vines are closer to 90 years of age. Le Meal is the warmest terroir in the Hermitage appellation, which is a major factor in the character and ripeness of Chapoutier Le Meal. The vineyard is on a slope with a sun-lit, southern exposure that is situated next to Bessards and not from Greffieux and the l’Ermite lieu-dits. The elevation is about 240 meters above sea level on as you know, a steep hillside. If you are ever in the city of Tain Hermitage, you can see the Le Meal vineyard from several vantage points in the city. The terroir is rocks, stones, granite, clay and limestone soils to the west and you find more granite with limestone, smaller pebbles and even clay to the eastern part of the vineyard. Close to 5,000 bottles are produced on average each vintage.

Chapoutier L’Ermite made its debut in 1996. The wine is produced from old vines. Many of these vines are now more than 100 years old. Chapoutier L’Ermite is produced from some of the best terroir in the entire Hermitage appellation, with its steep hillsides and granite soils. The vineyards are located on the top of the famous hill of Hermitage, next to the chapel. On average, 5,000 bottles are produced each vintage.

Les Greffieux is youngest single vineyard wine from Chapoutier. The first vintage was 2001. Many of the oldest vines used to produce the wine were planted at the close of World War 2. Production is close to 3,000 bottles per year.

The best vintages of Chapoutier Hermitage are: 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1991, 1998, 1995, 1991, 1990 and 1989. Older vintages are best avoided.

Chapoutier also produces three, small production single vineyard white Hermitage wines from old vine Marsanne grapes. These wines are rich, thick, dense and oily. They are an acquired taste the require several years of aging. Le Meal, 400 cases, L’Ermite, 150 cases and L’Oree with 600 cases. Chante Alouette is the introductory Hermitage blanc from Chapoutier. To produce the Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc wines,vinification takes place in a combination of stainless steel vats and French oak casks. The wines are then aged in demi-muids for 10-12 months before bottling.

While the single vineyard wines of Chapoutier are very expensive, Sizeranne and Mure de Larnage, (produced from young vines) continue to maintain consumer friendly prices. Both those wines can be enjoyed at a much younger age than the single vineyard wines. Even the Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone are tasty and they sell for under $15!

Stylistically, the single vineyard, red Chapoutier Hermitage wines are rich, full bodied, concentrated, deep wines with distinct aromas of minerality, spice and blackberry. As Chapoutier strives to achieve phenolic ripeness, in the best years, the wine feels round, polished and plush. The wines demand a lot time in the cellar to show their best. 15-20 years of bottle age allows these wines to develop and display their full potential.

Serving and Decanting Chapoutier Hermitage with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chapoutier Hermitage is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-4 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chapoutier Hermitage is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chapoutier Hermitage is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.

The white wine of Chapoutier Hermitage is best served with a myriad of different seafood dishes, shellfish, crab, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chicken, pork and veal, as well as Asian cuisine.

A small amount of dessert wine, Vin de Paille is produced from grapes dried on straw mats. The wine is only produced in half bottles. Chapoutier is also active in other Northern Rhone regions such as: Cote Rotie, Crozes Hermitage, St. Joseph, Cornas, St. Peray and Condrieu.

2003 remains the reference point for Chapoutier Hermitage wines, although, 2009, 2010 and 2015 are giving that vintage a run for the money. The single vineyard Hermitage wines of Chapoutier are rich, ripe, pure, opulent, fleshy wines of uncommon depth and intensity that require at least 2 decades of bottle age time in the cellar before they are ready to drink. Regardless of what vintage actually turns out to be the best, it’s going to be fun comparing all those wines over the next few decades. In 2014, Michel Chapoutier was named The Wine Personality of the Year the two most important wine critics from France, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve.

M. Chapoutier Wine Tasting Notes

55 Vintages 300313 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2015M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96 pts

Elegant, fresh and silky, with lush, sweet fruits, the kirsch has this outstanding purity to the cherry oriented fruit. The wine smells, feels and tastes of spicy, peppery, fresh kirsch from start to finish. Produced from 100% old vine Grenache, the wine has the backbone to age and develop quite well. This is just a fabulous style of wine.

96 points - Tasted
2015M. Chapoutier Croix de Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

The thyme and Provencal herbs stick out here. That bushel of herbs is quickly followed by luscious, silky, sweet, ripe, peppery red fruits, finishing with a velvet textured layer of more red fruits. The wine is made using 100% Grenache grapes.

94 points - Tasted
2015M. Chapoutier La Bernardine  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)88 pts

The entry level Chateauneuf from Chapoutier offers a medium bodied, forward, sweet, cherry profile. Focused on its fruits ad freshness, over additional nuances, there is still enough peppery goodness with a dose of marjoram in the finish to keep things interesting.

88 points - Tasted
2014M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)93 pts

There is a good purity of fruit here, with soft, silky tannins and freshness. This 100% Grenache based wine is produced in an elegant, fresh, forward, sensuous, kirsch dominated style. Drink this young while waiting for the 2015 to come around.

93 points - Tasted
2014M. Chapoutier Croix de Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Fresh, sweet, soft and spicy, with an elegant charm to all the spicy red fruits. The wine is medium bodied, and polished with a finish filled with peppery, kirsch fruits.

91 points - Tasted
2013M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92 pts

Earthy, with a smoky, thyme and cherry note that stands out, the wine is silky, soft and polished with freshness and sweetness to the fruit. The wine is made with 100% old vine Grenache.

92 points - Tasted
2013M. Chapoutier Croix de Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Soft and spicy, with polished textures, medium body and sweet, red fruits, this should be drinkable on release.

91 points - Tasted
2013M. Chapoutier La Bernardine  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)88 pts

Medium bodied, red fruits, spice and kirsch are easy to find in this forward styled wine of pleasure.

88 points - Tasted
2011M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)93 pts

Pure, sweet, vibrant and silky, the supple textured wine delivers a lot of polished ripe, lush fruit in the finish. Produced from 100% old vine Grenache, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol.

93 points - Tasted
2011M. Chapoutier Croix de Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)91 pts

Anise and fresh cherries on the nose lead you to a medium bodied, forward, fresh, elegant kirsch filled wine from 100% Grenache that is ready for drinking today.

91 points - Tasted
2011M. Chapoutier La Bernardine  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)87 pts

Straight forward, open, medium bodied, pleasant, focused on its cherry core, but lacking in complexity.

87 points - Tasted
2010M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)98 pts

Inky, black on color, with a sense of richness, density and raw material, that makes it seem like you can eat or drink this. Because of the perfect level of ripeness, the wine has both sweetness and lift, length and vibrancy. But patience is the name of the game here. Having recently tasted 89, 90 & 91, which are are still young, this requites at least 20 or or more years to come around.

98 points - Tasted
2010M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)95 pts

Filled with spicy berries, kirsch liqueur, lush, flamboyant black cherries and a round, polished, sweet finish. This stylish wine has a great track record for aging.

95 points - Tasted
2010M. Chapoutier Croix de Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)93 pts

Jammy, ripe and over ripe sweet fruits are in abundance. Medium bodied, elegant and polished, this poised wine is already drinking well.

93 points - Tasted
2009M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite  (Hermitage)98 pts

Massive, powerful, concentrated, intense, frightfully tannic and still young. Yet, once you dig your way through its youth, the wine screams to get noticed. The textures are like molten syrah that oozes all over your palate, teeth and gums, staining everything in its path. Extreme patience is required here. Based on previous vintages, this should require, if not demand another 20-25 more years before it sheds its youth, and morphs into the mature stage of life.

98 points - Tasted
2009M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)98 pts

Inky, black with purple in color, this massive, concentrated, dense, thick, tannic wine is as you would expect, young and offering only promise of what is to come at this stage. The licorice, espresso, blackberry liqueur and smoke filled nose is surpassed by the intense, mouth coating waves of dense fruit and ripe tannins. Based on recent tastings of older vintages, this will demand at least 20 more years in the cellar before it really starts to open up.

98 points - Tasted
2009M. Chapoutier Crozes-Ermitage Les Varonniers  (Crozes-Hermitage)92 pts

Quite modern, with its espresso, smoke, licorice and black raspberry and jam filled perfume. Rich, round, ripe, forward and already fun to drink, with good levels of concentration and length, this is quite a nice value wine from the Northern Rhone.

92 points - Tasted
2008M. Chapoutier La Mordorée  (Côte-Rôtie)94 pts

Elegant, refined and fresh, with soft, polished tannins, ripe, red fruits, spice and earthy accents, the floral character really comes through in the nose. On the palate, the blend of fresh and fruit charms you. The wine is just now entering its drinking window.

94 points - Tasted
2007M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)97 pts

What lush, sexy pleasure machine this is! With an ocean of ripe, very ripe and over cherries, the wine is complicated by black raspberry jam, earth, pepper and herbs. Thick, rich, opulent and intense, with a beautiful sense of purity, this is Southern Rhone, Chateauneuf hedonism at its best.

97 points - Tasted
2005M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)95 pts

The wine pops with an intense nose of kirsch, garrigue, pepper, strawberry jam and spice. Silky, soft and polished, this stylish, sweet, cherry filled wine is already drinking well.

95 points - Tasted
2003M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite  (Hermitage)100pts

Black raspberry puree, wet forest floor, stone, floral notes and fresh herbs permeate the aromatics. Intense minerality, sweet, ripe black cherries, lush, dense, powerful and tannic. Tthe fruit shows a beautiful sense of purity. The tannins are ripe. You’ll find waves of each as the wine fills your palate. Thick, rich, amazingly concentrated and intense. The wine builds and expands with each taste.

100 points - Tasted

Inky in color, this wine is incredibly rich, deep and concentrated with layer after layer of plush, velvety fruits. Due to its inviting, mineral driven, luxurious, hedonistic style, with a few hours of air, you can drink this stunning Hermitage now. But I'm waiting on mine for 5-10 years.

98 points - Tasted
2003M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)98 pts

Inky in color, espresso bean, roasted, jammy dark berries and black cherry liqueur notes create the perfume. The wine is incredibly dense, yet balanced, rich and packed with flavor. There is a very ripe and over ripe, thick jammy component that some tasters are not going to like as much as others. Tannic, young and full bodied, this needs another decade or two, for the oak to integrate, the jam to dissipate and for the complexities to emerge.

95 points - Tasted

This Hermitage literally oozes from the bottle into your glass. This is so rich, dense and concentrated with fruit, it has to be tasted to believe! The fruit is spectacularly ripe, rich and decadent. The wine, at least at this stage has a beautiful profile with a strong black and blue fruit accent. When this wine matures, look out! By the way, the bottles in 03 have a new, more elegant and sophisticated label. The braille is gone.

98 points - Tasted
2003M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Méal  (Hermitage)96 pts

Spicy, blackberry liqueur, cedar chest and olive tapenade notes combine with intense flavors, crushed stone and a wall of tannin. This will need at least 10, and probably closer to 15 more years to come together. There is a regal quality to the fruit and tannins that is sublime. But wine will require patience.

96 points - Tasted
2003M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)95 pts

Chapoutier Barbe Rac remains of my favorite go to Chateauneuf du Pape wines. It is remarkably consistent and 2003 does not break that chain of consistency. From vines that are over 100 years of age. this 100% Grenache is loaded with sweet, ripe fresh kirsch,black cherry liqueur, earth, pepper, herbs and spicy, jammy black raspberries. Opulent and full bodied, this intense wine is ready to drink.

95 points - Tasted
2003M. Chapoutier La Mordorée  (Côte-Rôtie)92 pts

Smoke, blackberry, blueberry, charcoal and earthy aromas were easy to spot. Full bodied, plush and round in texture, the wine feels good on the palate. Perhaps it's too young and the oak has not become fully integrated into the wine yet. The finish showed a bit to much oak and left a minor drying sensation. I would have liked a touch more freshness in the mouth. While this was a good wine, that was clearly well made, it lacked excitement.

92 points - Tasted
2003M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée  (Hermitage)92 pts

As interesting as these are to taste, I am obviously not their market as I never understand them. Golden yellow in color, toast, stone, honeysuckle, apricot, mango, peach and petrol scents create the aromatic profile. The wine is thick, sweet, fat and dense, with an odd, or is that unique oxidized quality.

92 points - Tasted
2001M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite  (Hermitage)95 pts

Dark in color, youthful, intense and rich, this concentrated wine is tannic, yet the tannins are refined. The earthy, mineral driven, fresh, ripe, black and dark red fruits, licorice and smoky notes, coupled with the concentrated, deep of fruit are starting to show with decanting. However, another 5 years will add more softness and complexity to the wine.

95 points - Tasted
2001M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94 pts

This is all about the pure, sweet, perfectly ripe, cherries, raspberries and wild strawberries, with their freshness, elegant textures and earthy, spice, pepper, brown sugar and dark cherry liqueur filled characteristics. Silky in texture, medium bodied and a treat in your glass, this is drinking perfectly today. I'm not sure why this wine does not get more attention, it's a very nice style of Chateauneuf du Pape.

94 points - Tasted
2000M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96 pts

The last bottle from a full case, and each has been a beauty. There is so much elegance here, and the sweet, red cherries offer intensity and purity. Silky in texture, with garrigue, licorice earth and Christmas spice, every sniff, sip and swallow is a treat. I am certain this will last another 5-8-10 years, but this is not a wine to hold. If you have a bottle hanging around, pop a cork. You'll be happy you did.

95 points - Tasted

11 down and 1 more to go. This is fully mature, but it feels like it should its black cherry, spice, peppery, earth and fig character for at least another 5-7 years. Round, soft, and almost plush, the sweet, black cherry and kirsch in the finish sticks with you.

94 points - Tasted

Expressing deep spicy kirsch, black cherry, spice, pepper and earthy aromas, this luscious wine with its round textures and depth of flavor finishes with layers of supple spicy, black and red cherries with fresh strawberry jam. This sexy style of Chateauneuf du Pape is drinking perfectly today.

96 points - Tasted
2000M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)95 pts

Surprisingly charming at a young age for Chapoutier. Vanilla, licorice, fresh cherries and black raspberry notes, tannins that had clearly softened and a fruit filled finish placed everything right where they were supposed to be. Still young, but fun to drink at this early stage.

95 points - Tasted
2000M. Chapoutier Croix de Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92 pts

Concentrated, lush and lusty, this full bodied wine is filled with ripe cherry, strawberry and pepper. It's ready to drink.

92 points - Tasted
1999M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)95 pts

As this creeps closer to its 20th birthday, the wine has added a lot of depth, volume and complexity. The nose moves from earthy, smoky fruit to crushed rock and stone with a few hours of air. Concentrated, deep and long, the fruit is fresh and vibrant, cutting a nice line on your palate, with its balance between density, fruit and acidity. Having had older Chapoutier Pavillon vintages, 5-10 more years will make this even better!

95 points - Tasted
1999M. Chapoutier La Mordorée  (Côte-Rôtie)95 pts

Coffee bean, plum liqueur, smoke, boysenberry and spice open to a round, fat, lush, modern style of Cote Rotie that finishes with oak, licorice and spicy black cherries.

92 points - Tasted

With a nose filled with bacon fat, pepper, kirsch, flowers and fresh herbs, this round, ripe, fresh wine felt great as it slid over your palate with its layers of sweet, silky red fruit. This is drinking great today and its only going to get better with a few more years.

94 points - Tasted

This wine showed black and blue fruit, bacon fat and mild hints of smoke and chocolate. Richly textured, this plush wine finishes with black cherry and licorice flavors. Still young, this will provide pleasure for several years, but I am not sure how much more complexity it is going to develop.

93 points - Tasted

This Cote Rotie offers smoky, black cherry liqueur aromatics. Rich, soft and opulent on the palate, the wine finishes with chocolate covered cherries. This wine would have scored higher if the perfume was more complex and the finish lingered for a while longer. This is a very good wine, but it is not a Cote Rotie you need to purchase.

92 points - Tasted

The color of black, shiny raspberries. Blackberry, raspberry liqueur, pepper, bacon fat and floral scents flow from the glass. Huge, full-bodied, dense, chewy texture. Mouth drying tannins. Layers of black fruit with cherry kirsch accents overcome your palate. The finish lasts at least :40 seconds. Infanticide to drink at this stage. Try again in 5-10 years. 95 Pts

95 points - Tasted
1999M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Méal  (Hermitage)94 pts

Dense, thick, rich and very concentrated. Dark cherry, spice, vanilla, blackberry and herbs make for an intoxicating perfume. Elegant textures and a long silky, dark fruit finsh are a treat. Structured and tannic, this will only get better after a 10 year nap.

94 points - Tasted
1999M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc Le Méal  (Hermitage)92 pts

Deep, dark, yellow, orange in color, the wine tastes and feels like it's still coming out of a long slumber. Silky, rich and fresh, with apricot, petrol and floral aromas, complicated by honeysuckle accents, perhaps, more cellaring will allow the wine to open more, as this bottle, took a while at the table to unfurl.

92 points - Tasted
1998M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite  (Hermitage)97 pts

With 2 hours of double decanting under its belt, everything was in play. The wine is thick, rich, plush and polished, with layers of sweet, perfectly ripe dark berries, licorice, stone and earthy notes. The wine is long and fresh. The wine was even better with another hour or two in the glass.

97 points - Tasted
1998M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96 pts

Last bottle from my case. All good things have to come to an end sooner or later. Luscious textures, low in acidity, with a kirsch liqueur, herb, licorice and fig nose, the fruit was showing riper flavors than I recall from earlier bottles. The texture really add much more silk. At close to 20, if you're sitting on a lot of this wine, I'd pop your remaining bottles over the next few years.

92 points - Tasted

In the perfect spot, with silky, soft, lush textures, ripe, fresh strawberries, cherry, kirsch and spice, this elegant Chateauneuf du Pape does not need more time as it's ready to go.

96 points - Tasted

In the nose, fresh, ripe sweet cherries, flowers, kirsch, licorice, barnyard and jammy scents. Elegantly textured, with copious amounts of fresh, ripe, red fruit, the wine ends with sensations of jammy black raspberries, kirsch and wild strawberries.

95 points - Tasted

A complex filled with fresh, jammy black cherries, licorice, raspberry, Provencal herbs, licorice, black pepper, chocolate mint and strawberry tart kept your senses occupied. Full bodied and filled with ripe fruit, this richly textured wine ends with a long cherry griotte sensation. This is probably close to fully mature. It should remain at this level for another 5-8 years.

96 points - Tasted

A big, wonderful, ripe, rich, dense, peppery, Krisch dominated Chateauneuf. Lots of personality in every sip, sniff and swirl. Well balanced. Good structure with a long, pure finish. It was a lot of fun watching the wine improve and evolve in the glass.

95 points - Tasted

The deep ruby color entices you, but it's the nose that sucks in you in. Scents of ripe cherries, strawberries, raspberries, herbs, spices and burnt leaves excite your nose. Your palate is awash in concentrated layers of ripe, lush, kirsch and raspberries. Although high in alcohol, 15.5%, there was no sign of heat in the long, rich finish.

94 points - Tasted
1998M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Méal  (Hermitage)95 pts

This is still quite young. It took at least 4 hours in the decanter before the wine began to open and soften and provide its, spicy, mineral, peppery, ripe, black and red fruit charms. It's hard to believe, but it could take 5-10 more years in the cellar, or 4-6 hours in the decanter, if you want to enjoy the wine.

95 points - Tasted

Meaty, beefy, big and bouncy is great record from The Who, That title also describes this Hermitage from Chapoutier. Big, dense, powerful and filled with layers of ripe , black fruit, minerals, pepper, earth and truffles, this young, masculine wine has barely budged from the day it was released, Give it another 7-10 years before popping a bottle.

95 points - Tasted
1998M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)94 pts

Young, firm, tannic, fresh and concentrated, there is a polish and softness to the ripe fruit that makes it feel good on your palate. Still young, this needs at least a decade to come around before it comes together.

93 points - Tasted

This stylish wine, while still primary is very plush, rich and packed and stacked with mountains of ripe, decadent fruit. But, opening them at this stage is infanticide.

94 points - Tasted
1997M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)95 pts

3 hours of decanting woke this puppy up. Smoke, kirsch, pepper, garrigue, cassis and barbecue aromas popped with no effort. On the palate the wine was rich, deep and concentrated, with a delicious black cherry and bright cassis note that kept going and going. Good now, better later.

95 points - Tasted

Spicy black fruit, bbq, minerality, tobacco and peppery scents start the off. Full bodied, powerful and concentrated with suave, dense, dark fruit, this wine will only get better with time. For Chapoutier Pavillon, a wine that normally takes more than 20 years to develop, this is already showing well.

95 points - Tasted

Light ruby in color, with a fragrance filled with spice, iron, black cherry liqueur, sharp black pepper, iodine, smoke and black raspberries with a hint of oak. Pure silky cherries flow over your palate with voluptuous textures and a long, fresh, smoky cherry and strawberry finish.

95 points - Tasted

The 1997 Chapoutier Pavillon biodynamically produced Hermitage, opens with a blast of fresh ground black pepper which gently fades as scents of jammy black raspberries, oak, ripe cherries and sweet vanilla become more apparent. Dense, rich and supple in texture, this opulent wine finishes with ripe black raspberries and a hint of oak. 94 Pts

94 points - Tasted
1997M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite  (Hermitage)94 pts

Deeply colored with a nice perfume, this elegantly styled wine offers immense pleasure. Like many 97 Northern Rhone's, this offers a rich, plush, elegant personality. Decanted 3 hours before serving, there was a lot to like about this wine.

94 points - Tasted
1995M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)97 pts

Incredibly young, but it's impossible to miss the quality here. Intensely concentrated, powerful, tannic, fresh and lively, with a wall of fruit and a nose that combines ripe fruits, earth, smoke, thyme and mint, 3 hours of decanting was not enough. Time and air are needed for this wine to deliver the goods.

96 points - Tasted

Double decanted about 4 hours before serving helped soften the wine. Still youthful in appearance, and not fully developed in the nose, with some tannins left to soften, the concentrated, lush, dense wine is loaded with sweet, ripe fruits, earth, smoke, licorice and black cherries. The wine is starting to open, but it promises to be better in 5-10 years. This bottle, from the same case as the previous bottles tasted was a markedly better tasting experience.

96 points - Tasted

I own several bottles of this wine. I wanted to like it more. No. I needed to like it more. But I couldn't. Double decanted for 2-3 hours, it was still holding on tight. With effort, mineral driven, blackberry, cherry, smoke and herbal scents popped up. But the palate was still firm. There is ample concentration and by the end of the night, it started to soften, but that was not enough to make magic. I'm hoping that time will bring this around. My hope is fading at 20 years of age. But let's take a look in another 5 years.

92 points - Tasted

Firm, tannic, bright, structured and even stern, to some extent, the wine is very young. It's also very concentrated and tannic. There is an intensity to fruit that makes you pay attention. The complex nose serves up a melange ot thyme, cherries, earth, garrigue, kirsch and pepper, with a touch of mint. Give this 4-6 hours in the decanter, or wait a decade for it to soften and really come together.

93 points - Tasted

Sweet dark kirsch, crushed stone, fresh Provencal market herbs, plums, smoke, earth and thyme aromas pair well the rich, luxurious textures and fresh, ripe, round black and red fruit filled finish. Enjoyed over 2 hours, I was pleasantly surprised how well this was starting to show. Like all the better vintages of Chapoutier Hermtiage, this has a long future.

94 points - Tasted

Deep in color with gobs of fresh black pepper, earth, blackberry, cassis, oak and spice scents made up the perfume. Powerful, packed and stacked with layers of concentrated dark fruit, this round textured wine remains a baby at 16 years of age. Another 5-10 years will add a lot of complexity and texture to this outstanding Hermitage wine.

95 points - Tasted

1995 Chapoutier Pavillon opens with tobacco, pepper, blue and black fruit, spices and a hint of oak in the perfume. This concentrated, round, opulent, powerful Hermitage keeps your attention with it's rich textures and purity of flavor. This is still very young. Give it another 10 years and watch it evolve from there. This is a sexy, suave style of Hermitage. It's not trying to be anything else. If you're looking for Chave, which I adore, buy Chave. If you want an opulent expression of Hermitage, this is the ticket. 97 Pts

97 points - Tasted

This wine is filled with blackberry, fresh cracked pepper, cassis, spice, smoke, earth and iron aromas. Powerful, concentrated and brawny in style, this large Hermitage requires an other 5-10 years before coming around.

92 points - Tasted

A beautiful, sexy wine. This lush, fat, concentrated wine is a pleasure to taste. When this wine matures, watch out as it will be at or close to the levels of the 89, 90 & 91! Absolutely compelling wine!

97 points - Tasted
1995M. Chapoutier La Mordorée  (Côte-Rôtie)95 pts

There is nothing better than catching a wine in the sweet spot, which is exactly where this charmer is today. Bright, fresh, polished, soft, concentrated and aromatic, the feels as good as it tastes. A splash decanting is all this needs to get going.

95 points - Tasted

Elegant, refined, pure kirsch, garrigue, oak, smoke, licorice, coconut, spice and nut aromas introduce you to a round, silky, sexy,ripe cherry, plum and black rasbberry filled wine that is close to fully mature. I'd drink this over the next 10-15 years.

94 points - Tasted

With coaxing, pepper and smoky black fruit could be found. Great texture. Long mouth coating finish.

95 points - Tasted
1994M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée  (Hermitage)95 pts

94 Chapoutier L'Oree Is spun honey in color. Butterscotch, butter, oak, floral and citrus aromas. Fat and flabby in texture. The wine needs more acidity to give it better lift. It's a good wine, but more freshness would make it much more refreshing and interesting.

90 points - Tasted

Thick, ripe, rich, viscous, mouth filling wine with an opulent taste and texture. It had aromatics to match. However, its style is extreme and not for everyone.

95 points - Tasted
1992M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée  (Hermitage)93 pts

This massive wine was almost sweet due to its ripe fruit component. Aromas of Vanilla, lemon, rocks and flowers leapt from the glass ending with a beautiful finish. Matt Raney called the wine “a Crappy Sauterne, labeling it, Chateau De Suck!”

93 points - Tasted
1991M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)100pts

A touch of oak, smoke, dark fruits, tobacco, wet soil, and coffee on the nose. Powerful, big, full bodied, rich and deep, the wine still shows just a hint of oak in the incredibly long, mouth filling finish. Believe it or not, I think it needs more time to develop to its full potential. This is really such a super wine.

99 points - Tasted

Stunning in every sense of the word with its intense display of sweet black cherry liqueur, crushed rocked, licorice, smoke and black raspberry jam. The was coats your palate, teeth and gums with flavor that does not quit. Double decanted about 4 hours in advance, the wine is the real deal. Still youthful, this promises to be even better in the years to come.

100 points - Tasted

Regardless of how many times I taste this wine, I'm never bored. The licorice, smoke, vanilla, kirsch, pepper, wild strawberry, herbs and wet earth capture your attention. Thick, rich and intense, at close to 22 years of age, it's still young. I would not be surprised to see this sublime wine age for decades.

99 points - Tasted

1991 Chapoutier Pavillon retains is deep, dark color. Coffee, smoke, crushed stone, licorice, blackberry jam, pepper, spice, truffle, earth and tobacco notes explode from the glass the moment the bottle is opened and poured. Powerful, rich, intense and concentrated, everything is in balance and harmony. The wine ends with a long, pure, seamless finish filled with truffle coated, molten, cherry liqueu that remained on your palate for over one full minute!

99 points - Tasted

1991 Chapoutier Pavillon is filled with fresh ground black pepper, blackberry, cherry, crushed stone and spice aromas. Intense, dense, fat, round and mouth filling, the wine ends with a long sensation of fresh blackberry, sweet and sour dark cherry and spice flavors.

97 points - Tasted

Once poured, the aromatic fireworks kicks off with intense scents of ripe black fruits, minerals and spice. On the palate, this elixir of Hermitage coats every nook and cranny of your mouth with waves of deep, ripe, powerful black fruit. This has incredible concentration. But, everything is in perfect balance. The texture is plush, fat, rich and opulent. The finish lasts close to :60! Still youthful, this magical wine should continue to improve offering hedonistic thrills for another 20 years or more. This wine is an E ticket ride!

99 points - Tasted
1991M. Chapoutier La Mordorée  (Côte-Rôtie)98 pts

Drinking in the sweet spot, with bricking at the edges, the wine is fully mature. Smoke, Asian spice, earth, flowers, cigar ash and black cherries are all over the place. The wine is soft, supple and sensuous. I'd drink it over the next 5-8 years.

97 points - Tasted

1991 Chapoutier Mordoree is filled with pepper, licorice, barnyard, sweet jammy cherries, barnyard, blackberry, bacon fat and smoky aromas. Mouthfilling, with textures of exotic silk, this fully mature Cote Rotie ends with sweet, spicy, peppery, jammy, black cherries and fennel.

94 points - Tasted

Rumors of this wines untimely demise are as unfounded as those about Mark Twain when he was still alive. A powerful nose of fresh blackberry, coconut, black cherry, truffle, jam, violets and smoky bacon make this wine come alive. Full bodied and filled with decadent ripe fruit, the wine ends with a long, ripe, opulent, black raspberry, strawberry and kirsch filled finish.

97 points - Tasted

Silky, lush red and black fruit, spice and fresh herbs pop from the glass. The perfume is off the charts. Fully mature, this ends with an exotic, texture and rich, kirsch laden note.

97 points - Tasted

Notes of sandlewood, herbs, coffee and endless amounts of black and red fruits. The texture is pure elegance. Very exotic. This is probably fully mature and there is no reason to hold it any longer.

98 points - Tasted
1991M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne  (Hermitage)90 pts

Served blind, I was quite surprised to find out what it was, as I would not expect this wine to have aged so well. Lots of earth, smoke, and ripe black raspberries paired with elegant textures and a sweet, soft finish. This is much better than the last bottle tasted.

90 points - Tasted

Tart, short and unpleasant. And those were the positive traits!

75 points - Tasted
1990M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)99 pts

Purity, intensity, incredible length, minerality, freshness and uniqueness of character shine though with this stunner. Powerful, yet graceful, double decanted 4 hours in advance of serving, this beauty shows a floral, peppery, earthy, black cherry and crushed rock character that does not quit.

99 points - Tasted

Flashy, sexy, opulent dark, ripe berries, forrest, truffle, BBQ and peppery scents dominate the wine. Full bodied, intense and rich, this powerful wine leaves a lasting impression with its long, sensous, black fruit filled finish.

97 points - Tasted
1990M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)97 pts

Beautiful, elegant, polished, silky textures and good concentration of ripe, dark and light red fruits are the highlight of the wine. Over the years, the nose has developed an intense barnyard aromatic quality that was almost too much for me. This was not quite as present in previous examples. This is fully mature. There is no reason to hold off popping your corks if you are sitting on a bottle. This was my last bottle from its original case.

92 points - Tasted

This has been one of those great cases where every bottle has been terrific. This penultimate bottle was no exception. The nose opened with intense barnyard notes which faded after 20 minutes, when kirsch, garrigue, pepper, licorice, earth and mint notes came into play. Soft, round and packed with silky, lush cherries, this is drinking perfectly today.

95 points - Tasted

With an intense perfume made of up ripe, fresh cherries, red raspberries, wild strawberries, black pepper and earth, this is a very silky expression of old vine Grenache. Plush, elegant and sensuous, this fully matrue Chateauneuf du Pape delivers a long, polished, pure, ripe, red berry and spice filled finish.

96 points - Tasted

90 Chapoutier Barbe Rac "Holy cow Batman, this smells like a barn. Or is it fresh cow chips"? " You're right Robin. It's like the Penguins lair, if he lived on land". Once you move past the strong Farmville scents, licorice, tar, herbs, cherries, garrigue, rhubarb and fennel are easy to find. This Chateauneuf du Pape is fully mature, soft in texture and ends with kirsch flavors. 95

95 points - Tasted

Fresh market herbs, black pepper, crushed strawberry and cherry and earthy scents make the perfume. Multiple layers of lush red plum, kirsch and raspberries. Full bodied, sweet and round, this mature Chateauneuf is a treat for the sense.

97 points - Tasted
1990M. Chapoutier Vin de Paille  (Hermitage)94 pts

Packed with delicate, ripe, honeyed fruit. Orange, pineapple, peach and floral aromas. Medium bodied, with ample sweet flavors.

94 points - Tasted
1990M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne  (Hermitage)89 pts

Spicy, earthy aromas aided by black fruit tones made this interesting. The wine ended in a simple, clean black fruit finish

89 points - Tasted
1989M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon  (Hermitage)98 pts

Incense, smoke, sweet, ripe, fresh blackberries on the nose are made even better with earth and tobacco aromatics. Rich, supple, fat and dense, the wine is sweet and packed with loads of ripe, dark fruits. The wine coats your mouth and palate with richness, and intensity leaving you with a long, finish.

97 points - Tasted

Picture sitting around an open campfire, with wet earth, cracked pepper, roasted herbs, fennel and sweet black currants and you get the idea on the nose. On the palate, the wine is intensely concentrated, powerful and almost dense, yet all of this is in harmony. The fruit is ripe, soft, fresh and sweet, the tannins are polished and the finish is long. Double decanted for 4 hours prior to serving, this was a great showing for the first wine from Michel Chapoutier that announced things were changing at his winery.

98 points - Tasted

Ripe black fruits, barnyard, gun metal, herbs and coffee scents tickle your nose. This very concentrated wine is, full bodied, rich, silky, polished and opulent.

98 points - Tasted

Enticing bouquet of black fruits, spices, wood, herbs and flowers. Very sensual, this is like sipping on dense velvet! Very rich, sexy, silky, ripe black fruit fills your palate. The long seamless finish ends in waves of fruit. Absolutely compelling wine

98 points - Tasted

This is a rich, opulent, sexy, exotic style of Syrah that fills your mouth with spicy, ripe black fruit. There is some oak in the nose, but there's so much going on in the wine, I barely noticed it. Needs more time.

95 points - Tasted
1969M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne  (Hermitage)70 pts

This comes in an old fashioned antique styled bottle. Just looking at it was cool. Unfortunately, the bottle shape was the best part of the experience. The wine was not dead. But, it was close offering a very light, simple, one note tasting experience. Other than some cherries in the finish, it was not interesting. The wine did not last long in the decanter before fading.

70 points - Tasted
1955M. Chapoutier  (Hermitage)85 pts

This wine was labeled as coming from Bessards, which was quite a surprise, meaning I had no idea a single vineyard wine was being made during the 1950's in Hermitage. In fact, I lost a bet on this one, but that's another story. Fully mature, with some fruit remaining, most of the wine focused on its stone, pepper and cigar box personality. The bright raspberries that amazingly still remained made this all work. This is one of those wines I'm never going to see again, but I am sure glad I was able to taste it!

85 points - Tasted