Superripe, liqueur-like aromas of roast apple and cinnamon; suggestion of crab apple. Not as fresh as it should be, perhaps simply due to low SO2 But chewy and dense. From low-cropped 50-year-old vines picked very late.
Robert Parker 99
The awesome 1999 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree flirts with perfection. It is full-bodied, with an incredible bouquet of liquid minerals, licorice, honeysuckle, citrus, and a hint of tropical fruits. One-hundred percent new oak aging has been completely absorbed by the wine’s fruit and glycerin. This is a winemaking tour de force, made from exceedingly low yields of 12-15 hectoliters per hectare (less than one ton of fruit per acre). However, readers should understand that these are often unusual wines to drink because they tend to show exceptionally well for 4-5 years after bottling, then close up until about age 12. They can last for 4-5 decades. Anticipated maturity: now-2006; 2012-2050. Along with Gerard and Jean-Louis Chave, Chapoutier is producing the finest expressions of white Hermitage. His single vineyard cuvees are to die for if you like these eccentric, idiosyncratic, mammoth dry whites. Importer: Paterno Imports, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-89000
Anticipated maturity: 2006-2050