Inky ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented blueberry, kirsch, cassis and vanilla aromas are complemented by suggestions of succulent flowers, allspice, smoky bacon and incense. Coats the palate with alluringly sweet, finely etched black and blue fruit preserve, spicecake, mocha, olive paste and violet pastille flavors that are underscored by a vein of smoky minerality. Shows outstanding energy for its brawn and finishes impressively long, smoky and broad, with mounting tannins and gentle closing grip. 50% new oak.
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2041
Jeb Dunnuck 98+
In the same vein, the 2018 Ermitage L’Ermite has a pure, liquid rock-like mineral component as well as a tight, dense style in its crème de cassis, violets, acacia flowers, crushed stone, charcoal, and peppered game-like aromas and flavors. While this showed a more plush, sexy character from barrel (which led me to compare it to the Pavillon), it’s a classic L’Ermite from bottle and is full-bodied, tight, concentrated, and structured. It’s a magical Hermitage in the making yet won’t hit maturity for 10-15 years and should keep for 30+.
Robert Parker 99
As usual, Chapoutier’s 2018 Ermitage l’Ermite is a standout among standouts. Crushed stone, blueberries, even a touch of herb feature on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is cool and crunchy but also ripe and generous. It’s rich and long, with a firm, granitic structure that should enable two-plus decades of aging. This has it all.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045