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2001 M. Chapoutier


Ermitage Le Pavillon, Rhone, France (1.5L Magnum)

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Year in and year out, one of the three greatest Hermitages made is Chapoutier’s Le Pavillon.

The 2001 Ermitage Le Pavillon exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of camphor, ink, creme de cassis, and hints of licorice as well as smoke. Although dense, rich, and full-bodied, the 2001 reveals more acidity in its delineated, nervous personality. Unquestionably great and intense, it will be less charming and precocious than its 2000 sibling. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030. (I disagree, but Michel Chapoutier feels his finest three Le Pavillons to date have been 1991 followed by 1995 and 2000. I retain a preference for the glorious trilogy of 1989, 1990, and 1991.)

These uncompromising offerings from a young genius are not meant for consumers who want something to drink immediately. They are the essence of bio-dynamically farmed vineyard sites cropped incredibly low, given extended fermentations with indigenous yeasts, and rarely touched until they go into the bottle unfined and unfiltered. In most vintages, the wines are not even racked off their lees, which only adds to their natural style. These are truly remarkable wines, but for most readers, patience is the operative rule as they generally need a good 8-10 years to strut their stuff.

Once moribund, over the last 12 years, this firm has become one of the reference points for nearly all the Rhone Valley appellations since the brash yet immensely talented Michel Chapoutier took over in the late eighties. The single vineyard offerings are as good as Rhone Valley wines can be. Moreover, Chapoutier continues to upgrade the quality of those wines offered in more significant quantities than the 500 or so cases each of the single vineyard offerings.

Rated 93-95 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Item: Wine-456900
Year: 2001
Producer: M. Chapoutier
Designation: Ermitage Le Pavillon
Varietal: Red Wine
Region: Rhone, France
Size: 1.5L Magnum
 

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