Robert Parker 98+
The thickest, most unctuous, full-bodied and sexy white of the vintage is the 2014 Ermitage de l’Orée. Coming all from the sedimentary soils of the Les Murets and aged mostly in demi-muids (only 15% new), it offers a sensational perfume of caramelized peaches, campfire, honeysuckle and white flowers that literally come soaring from the glass. Possessing uncommon density, a stacked mid-palate, loads of sweet fruit and a blockbuster finish, this hedonistic effort can be drunk with incredibly pleasure today, or cellared for a decade or more. It will have three or more decades of overall longevity. Looking at the 2014 whites from Michel Chapoutier, these are gorgeous wines that show the suppler, more elegant style of the vintage, yet still have thick, unctuous textures that keep you coming back to the glass. The level of concentration this estate is able to achieve, even in these more difficult vintages, is truly remarkable. The two blockbusters that readers shouldn’t miss (and that are still affordable by mere mortals) are the 2014 Hermitage Chante-Alouette and the 2014 Saint Joseph les Granits Blanc. With respect to the reds, 2013 is a serious vintage at this estate, and at the top end, they’ve produced the wines of the vintage. I suspect the top releases will shut down relatively quickly so if you’re inclined to try one young, don’t wait too long.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2045
Bright yellow. Expressive aromas of nectarine, ripe citrus fruits, fresh fig and pungent flowers, backed by a building suggestion of smoky minerals. Sappy, densely packed, mineral-laced citrus and pit fruit and honeysuckle flavors show excellent concentration and become more energetic with air, picking up a hint of iodine as the wine opens up. The floral and mineral qualities carry emphatically through a strikingly long, focused finish that shows outstanding definition and tension.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2028