Reviews of selected M. Chapoutier wines by Jeb Dunnuck in Wine Advocate issue 228:
2015 Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite Blanc
One of the most singular wines I’m able to taste each year is unquestionably the l’Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier and it certainly lives up to the billing in 2015. Offering what I can only describe as a liquid rock (a liqueur of rocks?) character intermixed with notes of buttered citrus, pineapple, smoked meats, charcoal and toast, the 2015 Ermitage l’Ermite is full-bodied, decadent and locked and loaded on the palate. It needs 2-3 years of cellaring and I suspect will keep for half a century.
2015 Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal Blanc
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.
2015 Chapoutier St Joseph le Clos
Reminding me of a top Hermitage from the Bessards lieu-dit, the 2015 St Joseph Le Clos is one of those wines that needs to be tasted to be believed. Offering incredible notes of black powder, crushed rocks, black and blue fruits, violets and even a hint of lavender, this sensational-looking barrel sample is full-bodied, utterly seamless and polished, with building tannin and perfect structure. It will have 2-3 decades of longevity and might end up being the greatest wine ever made from St Joseph.
2015 Chapoutier St Joseph les Granits
Another tour de force that might be the wine of the appellation is the 2015 St Joseph Les Granits. Coming all from the namesake vineyard of the appellation (lieu-dit St Joseph), it’s about as sexy, voluptuous and concentrated as they come. Black raspberries, cassis, licorice and a liqueur of rocks-like profile emerges from the glass of this beauty—and it expands on the palate, with sweet tannin and a huge finish. Trust me, this is a wine you don’t want to miss!
2014 Chapoutier St Joseph les Granits
The two flagship releases from St Joseph include the Le Clos and Les Granits. Almost as good as the Le Clos, the 2014 St Joseph Les Granits offers a complex bouquet of ripe red and black fruits, new saddle leather, beef blood and toasted spice in a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated style. It has more obvious structure than the Le Clos and needs 3-4 years of bottle age, which isn’t the norm in the vintage.