M. Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc 2016
|Region||France, Rhone, Hermitage|
The best of the lineup in 2016 is unquestionably the 2016 Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc, which is all Marsanne from the granite soils at the top of Hermitage hill that was brought up in 25% new demi-muids. Boasting a crazy bouquet of exotic tropical fruits, liquid rocks, white flowers, celery seed, and licorice, it's deep, rich, and powerful on the palate, with the more upfront, elegant and pure style of the vintage, yet has awesome richness, fatness and opulence. It's a legendary white that I suspect will have 4-5 decades of life.
My favorite of the white Hermitages, the 2016 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc boasts aromas of gently toasted marshmallow and ripe pear. It's full-bodied and generous, with a rich, grainy texture balanced by brine and zest notes. While it can be enjoyed now, my feeling is that it will get better over the next decade, then drink well for at least another decade after that.
Enticingly smoky, spicy notes of caramel and honey mingle into plump yellow plum, quince and apple in this decadently textured Marsanne. Chapoutier's flagship Hermitage Blanc, it's a luscious white matured on lees for 10 months in 100% new oak. The finish is marked by hints of earth, bramble and walnut. Lovely already but best to hold till 2026-it will improve for decades.