Robert Parker 99
I had the opportunity to retaste the wonderful 2015 Hermitage and have taken this opportunity to up my rating of it a couple of points, more in line with how I thought it would turn out from barrel than when I first tasted it from bottle last year. Yes, it’s closed up pretty tight, but the potential is clearly enormous, with pungent, peppery aromas accenting espresso, black olive and blackberries. Full-bodied, dense and supremely concentrated, with a tremendously long finish, this is a vintage to put away and forget for at least 5-6 years, maybe a decade.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2040
As usual, tasted vineyard by vineyard from barrels. 1) from Les Beaume: Powerful, deep-pitched cherry, blueberry and violet character; intense mineral and spice overtones add vivacity. 2) from Meal: Densely packed but uncannily fresh and energetic, displaying sweet raspberry, cherry, spicecake and floral pastille qualities and a core of juicy acidity. 3) from Ermite: Superb depth of dark fruit and floral character; a core of minerality provides energetic lift and focus, giving an impression of energy, not weight. 4) from Bessards: Mineral and floral notes accent ripe blackberry and cherry, and a sexy Asian spice flourish lends an exotic touch and back-end cut. The final wine should be a knockout and I envision that it will come off as a hypothetical cross of Chave’s 2009 (power and heft) and 2010 (energy and structure).