Chapoutier Ermitage 'Le Meal' Blanc 2015
1 or more bottles$369.99
Robert Parker's100 points
Wine Spectator97 points
James Suckling95 points
100/100 Robert Parker- "If I had to pick a desert island white, this might be it." Le Méal white is in quite another register with its notes of mango, a rich and generous first palate and an extremely complex finish. There is tension and richness here from vines more than 50 years old, produce very low yields and guarantee high quality.
Great with foie gras, lobster, fish, poultry in sauces, goat cheese, blue cheese, spicy dishes and curry.
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Critic Scores & reviews
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate100
"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."
"Lovely, 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."
"Lurid 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."
"Some riper and more exotic, tropical fruits in the pawpaw zone with ripe mangoes and peaches, too. The palate has stony-mineral depth, all swathed in ripe-fruit flesh and flavor. Plenty of peach and papaya. Very focused finish and some handy restraint to this. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2020"
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
The Rhône Valley is in the South of France and is situated in the Rhône river valley. The region has been growing wines for centuries and is generally split into two sub-regions. In the Northern Rhône, Syrah is the predominant grape variety, though it is often blended with other white varieties like Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier, or the red grape Mourvedre. In the Southern Rhône, a wide range of white, red and rosés are produced alongside the undisputed king of the Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The Northern Rhône is cooler than the Southern Rhône and has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winter. The appellations from North to South are Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Château-Grillet, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Péray.
In Southern Rhône, the climate is more Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot summers. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous appellation but others include Côtes du Rhône, Gigondas and Lirac. Large pebbles are used in the region, placed at the base of the vines to absorb the suns heat during the day, to keep the vines warm at night.
Châteauneuf-du-Papes are blended from the 13 permitted grape varieties, though Grenache usually dominates, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre. These wines can be supremely rich and complex and typically warrant 5-10 years in the cellar for best results.
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About the brand M.Chapoutier
Michel Chapoutier, a wine enthusiast turned producer is one of the top names in France's Rhone Valley and throughout the wine world. A self-titled 'wine-grower, wine-maker and wine lover', Chapoutier has incredible passion for each plot of land in his holdings; he converted to biodynamic farming methods in 1991 out of a respect for each site's unique characteristics.
Drawing grape sources from all areas of the Rhone Valley, Chapoutier produces a portfolio of super premium Syrah-based wines. From the vast, regional Cotes-du-Rhone, to the highly prized land of Hermitage, Chapoutier puts his stamp of quality and site expression on every wine bearing his name.
Now, after having explored global wine regions, he has set his sights on another famed Shiraz region: Australia. With a desire to meet and work with winemakers sharing the same interest, Chapoutier has created partnerships with Australian wine superstars, Ron and Elva Laughton of Jasper Hill (2002) and Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda (2007). His estate Domaine Tournon is in the Victorian Pyrenees.