New scores from Wine Enthusiast Rhône editor Joe Czerwinski (Advanced Guide):
M. Chapoutier 2010 Monier de la Sizeranne Hermitage (Cellar Selection)
Perhaps the best Sizeranne I’ve ever tasted, the 2010 displays extra levels of richness and structure. Plum and coffee-bean notes are lightened and brightened by hints of cherries and raspberries that linger easily on the velvety finish. Delicious already, it should continue to drink well through at least 2020.
M. Chapoutier 2010 Les Arènes Cornas
A hint of cedar accents aromas of black olive and plum, while the flavors manage to blend those elements into a harmonious, savory package before ending on a lengthy espresso note. This finely textured Cornas may be tough to come by, as only 60 six packs were imported. Drink now–2020.
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.