Chapoutier 'Les Varonniers' Crozes-Hermitage 2019

Chapoutier 'Les Varonniers' Crozes-Hermitage 2019

France : Rhone
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75cl * Organic & Biodynamic * 14.5% ABV * Crozes-Ermitage, Rhône Valley, France

The grapes for 'Les Varonniers' come from the oldest Crozes-Hermitage vines grown on sunny, south facing slopes. The granitic slopes are oriented south-east at the end of the Hermitage hill and on fluvial terraces on the “Chassis” plot.

On the nose there are plenty of ripe red fruits, plus blackcurrant and raspberry, then liquorice. This leads to a lovely fresh palate, which balances the depth and exceptional concentration that this wine also exhibits.

~ Critic Reviews ~

This must be the best Crozes-Hermitage I ever tasted! Deep, smoky, minty and spicy nose that expands and expands as it aerates, gaining ever more earthy complexity. Stunningly concentrated and focused palate with so much bitter chocolate and black cherry, but even more power. Giant finish that’s astonishingly refined for this appellation. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2024. 96 points, James Suckling, February 2022

The 2019 Crozes-Ermitage Les Varonniers comes from site just to the west of Hermitage, and this cuvée is always a more Hermitage-like, structured wine. While I think the soils here (broken granite) are brilliant, the downside of this vineyard is that it lies in the shade most days and only gets afternoon sun. It produces a big, burly wine that needs bottle age, and top vintages can evolve for over two decades. The 2019 has pure cassis, graphite, and peppery aromatics as well as a rich, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate. I love its tannins, the balance as well as the purity of fruit are spot on, and this is another beautiful Crozes Hermitage that would pass undetected in a lineup of top Hermitage. Give bottles 5-6 years and enjoy over the following two decades. 95+ points, Jeb Dunnuck,, February 2022