A few weeks ago Jim Seder of Wine Inquirer posted an article highlighting the renowned producers of Hermitage Hill with M. Chapoutier at the top of the list. Below is the 2nd part of his article that speaks to Le Meal which Jim refers to as “one of the best values for a single vineyard Ermitage Chapoutier wine in the portfolio.”
To read the first post click here.
Le Meal: From one of the warmer sites on Hermitage Hill, Le Meal is from the lieu-dit plot down from the top of the hill. With vines around 50 years old and soils of shingles (derived from shale and sandstone or alluvium from mudstone) and clay. Harvesting & fermentation is similar to L’Ermite with aging for 14-18 months, using free run juice only. The color is dark with red currant, blackberry fruit and a muscular frame of charcoal, tar, and an iron cut; notes of mesquite, scorched earth, roast meats, garrigue, and firm tannins round out a long finish. As with the L’Ermite, this is a superbly structured wine with long life ahead, likely a half century or more.
Le Meal Blanc:
The 100% Marsanne Le Meal blanc, as with the Le Meal rouge, is from the namesake plot. After pressing the grapes, the must cold settles for 24-48 hours. Around 50% is vinified in large new wood barrels (600L) with the remainder fermented in vats. The wine is aged in casks on the lees with frequent stirring & tastings with bottling, on average, 10-12 months post-harvest. Resourced from soils of shingles and clay translates into a wine with slightly different character than the L’Ermite blanc, but none short of the intensity and unctuousness. Stunning aromatics that vary from vintage to vintage include ultra ripe peach, pineapple, brioche, caramelized white fruits, and crushed rocks. As with the L’Ermite, there’s a laser focused purity that cuts through the stunning richness and fantastic length. And all the terroir driven minerality is present along with an extroverted air of sexiness and richness.
— JIM SEDER
To read the full article on Jim’s site, click here.