Tag Archives: M. Chapoutier

Neither here nor there (Rhone Valley, France – Day Seven)

After seven days in the Rhone Valley I feel much more comfortable with the wines, people and terroir. Of course there were a number of very cult producers that I would have liked to visit, but they are notoriously difficult to get appointments with. I think it is more important that I visited a number of key producers that work across many appelations, so that I can see how interpretations may differ or be similar. I’ve certainly had my fill of syrah and grenache based wines, but would like to get more experience with the white, rose and sweet wines of the region. It is so interesting to see how different philosophies and approaches can both produce outstanding but different wine. Take the last two appointments I had in the region; the first was with a producer that not only has vineyards in both the Northern and Southern Rhone Valley (quite rare), they also have vineyards in other regions in France, Portugal and even Australia, producing millions of bottles each year; the second producer is a much smaller cult producer only working with fruit from three appelations in the Northern Rhone Valley.

Hermitage vineyards above Tain l’Hermitage

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M. Chapoutier – 28/05/2012

Les Meysonierres Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2011 (100% marsanne)
Quite honeyed stone fruit citrus notes, subtle richness of oil and floral aromas. Generous and full on the palate, clean yet concentrated, with some nutty texture late on the palate, fresh but complete and complex.

Les Granilites Saint Joseph Blanc 2010 (100% marsanne)

More concentration and density of fruit, bolder riper honey and subtle spice aromas. Intense texture, very linear but will develop further over time.

Chante-Alouettes Hermitage Blanc 2010 (100% marsanne)

Quite closed and subtle, ripe and rich yet fresh and tight, with some shy green fruit notes. Wonderful persistence and balance, good length and intensity, with plenty of ageing potential considering the vintage.

Les Meysonnieres Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2009

Delicate spice aromas nice to see for the vintage in this appellation, dark fruits floral and pepper. Very tight and intense on the palate, good integrity and approachability, not jammy or broad at all with freshness and depth.

Les Granilites Saint Josph Rouge 2010

Young subtle and delicate on the nose, expressing green pepper and thick skinned blackberries. Elegant restraint on the palate, spicy depth and approachably bold fruit, fine and tight tannins and generosity.

Sizeranne Hermitage 2009

Bright intense purple colour, juicy juby dark fruit forward nose. Very mellow and full on the palate, gentle and broad, a little too heavy in the extraction of tannin from the skins and oak, on the aggressive side.

Le Pavillon Ermitage 2008

A truly exceptional wine; beautifully aromatic yet subtle floral, red currants, wild cherry earth and mineral notes. Expressive density yet elegant and light, balanced intensity and savoury finesse, more like a burgundy in style but unmistakeably syrah.

Historic Chapoutier cellars

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