Robert Parker 95
The 2007 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree reveals a light gold color as well as a rich nose of flowers intermixed with honeyed oranges, apricots, quince, and currants. Deep, full-bodied, and multidimensional, it should drink nicely for 30+ years. (Not yet released) While Michel Chapoutier produces some of the world’s greatest wines from single parcels of old vines spread throughout the northern and southern Rhone (see my ecstatic reviews of his 2007 and 2006 Chateauneuf du Papes in issue #179), he also has an impressive portfolio of value-priced wines that are often over-looked when this impressive producer is discussed. Following are some top-notch picks that all sell for exceptionally fair prices. Chapoutier has not achieved as great as success in Cornas as he has in the other northern Rhone appellations, although his Cornas wines get better with each vintage. There are four extraordinary single vineyard white wines, all of which are among the greatest dry white wines of the world. While all of them can be drunk young, they are meant for extended cellaring. Made from very small yields, they represent the essence of a varietal as well as a vineyard site. As the following notes demonstrate, 2006 was one of the greatest vintages for white wines at Chapoutier. The single vineyard selection parcellaire red wines range in production from 500 to nearly 1,000 cases. 2007 is a very good vintage for these selections, but 2006 has an edge. It is reminiscent of 1996 because of the wines’ freshness and acid levels, but Chapoutier’s 2006s are even more concentrated than his 1996s. Chapoutier’s four 2006 cuvees of single vineyard Hermitage are exquisite. Most of the yields were between 10 and 20 hectoliters per hectare, and the wines are extravagantly rich. The 2006 and 2007 luxury cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape Croix des Bois and Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac were reviewed in issue #179. They are all astounding wines, especially in 2007 Importer: Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900
Anticipated maturity: 2009-2039
Green-gold. Sexy tangerine, beeswax, floral honey and brown spice scents. Completely saturates the palate with lush melon, pit and exotic fruit qualities, plus an array of mineral and floral flavors. Even richer on the very long finish. You could drink this now, without shame.