More reviews from the Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck from the December 30, 2016, Issue #228.
2014 M. Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite
The inky black/purple-colored 2014 Ermitage l’Ermite is more firm, backward and mineral driven than the sexier Pavillon, offering fabulous notes of scorched earth, wood smoke, crushed violets, and both blackcurrant and crème de cassis. An utterly profound effort, it defines the more charming nature of the vintage, displaying building tannin and one seriously long finish. Forget bottles for 5-7 years and enjoy over the following two decades.
2014 M. Chapoutier Ermitage les Greffieux
The 2014 Ermitage Les Greffieux offers a big mouthful of fruit as well as a more gamey profile in its black olive, beef blood, smoke and ripe dark fruits. This cuvée comes from the middle of the slope (which is slightly higher up in the Greffieux parcel) and is aged in 20% new oak. Drink this full-bodied, meaty, rich and unctuous beauty anytime over the coming two decades.
2014 M. Chapoutier Ermitage le Pavillon
The 2014 Ermitage le Pavillon is another wine from this team that defies the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated, impeccably balanced and seamless, with classic notes of crushed rocks, graphite, cassis and blackcurrants, it hits the palate with no hard edges, has a great mid-palate and possesses sweet tannin. Michel commented that this wine reminded him of the 1982, and while it offers pleasure even today, it won’t hit maturity for another decade.
2014 M. Chapoutier Ermitage le Méal
The sweetly fruited, downright sexy 2014 Ermitage le Meal offers plenty of raspberry jam, toasted bread and floral notes in a ripe, expansive, mouth-filling style. Like all the wines here, the tannin quality is incredible. You can drink this today with ample pleasure, but it will keep for two decades.
2014 M. Chapoutier Saint Joseph le Clos
The two flagship releases from St Joseph include the Le Clos and Les Granits. From a difficult vintage, I was shocked at the quality of the 2014 St Joseph Le Clos; this warmer, east-facing vineyard continues to impress. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and impeccably balanced, it has a liquid-rock character as well as notes of cassis, blackberries, crushed flowers and graphite. Brought up in 30% new French oak, it’s a sensational St Joseph that will be approachable in another 2-3 years and have 15-20 years of prime drinking.
2014 M. Chapoutier Cote Rotie la Mordorée
On another level, the 2014 Côte Rôtie La Mordorée is a perfumed, incredibly layered and even sexy 2014 that has lots of black raspberry fruits, flowers, potpourri, and spice aromas and flavors. It’s a deeper, richer wine than the Les Bécasses, has solid mid-palate depth and sweet tannin. It will drink well for at least a decade.
2014 M. Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonniers
I always think of this cuvée as a mini-Hermitage (sometimes not so mini) and the 2014 Crozes Ermitage Les Varonniers has lots of crushed rock-like minerality (and a black powder/ozone character), as well as plenty of cassis and blackcurrant fruit, beautiful concentration and ripe tannin. It’s a classic, balanced effort to drink over the coming decade, as well.
2014 M. Chapoutier Cornas les Arênes
The 2014 Cornas Les Arenes is another outstanding wine that offers textbook notes of black olives, blackberries, raspberries, peppery herbs and ample minerality. Drink this medium to full-bodied, rounded, elegant beauty through 2024.
2014 M. Chapoutier Cote Rotie les Bécasses
The least expensive Côte Rôtie is the 2014 Côte Rôtie Les Bécasses, an outstanding wine that shows the forward, elegant and charming style of the vintage. Offering up notes of strawberries, black raspberries, flowers and spice, this medium-bodied effort is silky and lightly textured on the palate, with sweet tannin. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.
2014 M. Chapoutier Saint Joseph les Granilites
The 2014 reds are perfect restaurant wines and they have approachable, pure characters that make them already impossible to resist. The juicy and fresh 2014 St Joseph Les Granilites offers lots of sweet raspberry fruits, crushed flowers and spice in a medium-bodied, elegant, lively, lightly textured style. Brought up mostly in tank, it has a Pinot Noir-like silkiness and will need to be enjoyed over the coming 6-7 years.
2014 M. Chapoutier Saint Joseph Deschants
The 2014 reds are perfect restaurant wines and they have approachable, pure characters that make them already impossible to resist. A good example is the 2014 St Joseph Deschants, which is a charming, granite-influenced beauty that offers lots of blackberry, black raspberry and pepper in a medium-bodied, supple and elegant style.