M. Chapoutier Le Meal Ermitage Blanc 2021

M. Chapoutier Le Meal Ermitage Blanc 2021

France : Rhone
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75cl * Organic & Biodynamic * 14.5% ABV * Hermitage, Northern Rhône, South of France

Although now better known for its red wines, Hermitage was originally a white wine growing district and “Le Meal” demonstrates its great history. Michel Chapoutier claims to produce it as “a service to gastronomy" hence the name. “Le Meal” is a 2 hectare parcel of low-yielding 50 year old Marsanne vines. These are grown on the Méal hillside, a high-terraced slope scattered with large pebbles which retain the heat and encourage the ripening of the grapes.

The harvest, totally destemmed, is vinified in a small cement vat. High temperature maceration enables a good extraction of grape potential, to obtain soft and stable tannins, compulsory to keep the wine for a very long time. Michel feels that this wine ages “forever”. In fact, when presenting a sample of the 2021 to us he said that had opened a bottle of 1900 last month which was fine! Only the free-run juice is used in this single vineyard.

Foie gras Crayfish,lobster Fish, poultry in sauces White meats Goat's cheese,blue cheese Spicy dishes and curry

~ Taurus Tasting Notes from a tasting on 11th October 2022 ~

“Tomato leaf is very much the signature note on the nose (one joker in the audience mentioned ketchup which was a bit over the top) with notes of quince and white flower. White pear on the palate with a lovely nutty greengage Marsanne character. Soft and creamy with great body and length. Outstanding wine. Despite Michel’s optimism about aging, we would say 2024 – 2040.”

"From the warmer, south-facing Le Méal lieu-dit and always the first to be harvested, the 2021 Ermitage Le Méal Blanc is another pure, elegant, incredibly impressive white offering notes of honeyed stone fruits, roasted hazelnuts, brioche, and crushed rock. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and opulent, it's more expressive and expansive than the more chiseled, elegant De L'Orée, but the quality is basically the same. It too needs 3-4 years of bottle age." 97+ / 100 points, Jeb Dunnuck (December 2022)