M. Chapoutier Hermitage White Chante-Alouette 2012
Salted butter, chamomile, lemon rind and white peach notes course along, inlaid with honeysuckle and verbena hints. Mineral-driven finish. Drink now through 2022.—James Molesworth
“Every year,” writes Master of Wine and wine writer Jancis Robinson, “we publish tasting notes on the latest primeur releases of the single-vineyard (Sélections Parcellaires) wines of the energetic Michel Chapoutier, pioneer of much, including biodynamic viticulture, Braille labels and Franco-Australian joint ventures. Each year it seems as though the Chapoutier empire is expanding and becoming a bit more confusing, so I asked them to send me a complete list of their own vineyards to date.”
“Your best wines are never the consequence of your genius,” says Michel Chapoutier in an interview with WineSearcher.com, “but the consequence of hazard [chance].”
“You live your life chasing the luck you had when you made some amazing wines,” says Michel. “You speak to old winemakers and ask them: ‘What is the best wine you ever made?’ They will tell you and then if you ask: ‘Why didn’t you make it again?’ they say there was some climatological reason but nothing different in the winery.”
Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier 2012 Shiraz/Viognier — Composed of 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier, this wine was produced from fruit sourced in Central Victoria… Violet aromas dominate the nose of this wine, though lighter notes emerge as well due to the lift the Viognier provides. Plums and raspberry flavors light up the nose along with hints of savory herbs. Smoked meat characteristics, earth, and plenty of spices are all part of the finish. This is a gorgeous example of Shiraz highlighted by the soft, lush, and velvety mouth feel.
“The M. Chapoutier 2010 Ermitage L’Ermite,” writes Robb Report editor-in-chief Brett Anderson in the publication’s “Best of the Best” issue, “stuns the senses with aromas of sun-warmed wild blackberries, sweet tobacco, and charred bread, as well as flavors of ripe plum, hoisin, and game meat layered over a massive structure.”
This is the second consecutive year that an M. Chapoutier wine has been featured in the magazine’s “Best of the Best.”