2002 Chapoutier - Ermitage Cuvee de L'Oree Blanc 750ml

France - Northern Rhone - Hermitage/ White / Marsanne
2002 Chapoutier - Ermitage Cuvee de L'Oree Blanc

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International Wine Cellar | 89(+?)

($166; 100% marsanne, grown in the more alluvial soil of Murets; aged in 50% oak-mostly 500-liter demi-muids, of which 50% was new) Medium yellow. Complex aromas of ripe peach, clove, gunflint and smoke; hints at a candied sweetness rare for this vintage. Sweet, dense and fat but bright, with intense, nicely delineated flavors of white peach, apricot and minerals. Finishes strong but a bit youthfully harsh. Needs at least a few years of aging.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 118

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Wine Advocate | 93

Perhaps the most surprising thing is how spectacular the 2002 whites are from Michel Chapoutier. Because of space limitations, I am only listing the numerical score for this wine, which is evolved, but exceptional for such a challenging vintage. As I have said so many times over the last 15 years, the top Chapoutier wines are meant for very long term drinking, and are not designed for immediate gratification. Everything Chapoutier is doing, from his bio-dynamically farmed vineyard to tiny yields, extended fermentations, indigenous yeasts, and no fining or filtration, is done to produce the essence of a vineyard and a vintage. His track record since 1989 and 1990 admirably proves that these are indeed remarkable wines made by a young genius who refuses to compromise. Michel Chapoutier has been misunderstood by some of his peers, and there is a lot of jealousy when someone this young is so incredibly talented, but it is an irrefutable fact that these are wines of singular greatness as well as longevity.

Drink Dates: 2004-2054
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 156

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Wine Spectator | 92

Tight now, this is a rich, butterscotch- and toast-driven white, with plenty of fig, Bosc pear, dried pineapple and floral notes as well. Focused and lengthy on the finish, but this needs cellaring to show its best. Best from 2005 through 2009. 600 cases made.

Author: James Molesworth


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About This Producer


This firm, founded in 1808, is the proprietor of 175 key acres of vines in five Rhone Valley appellations. Since the retirement of Max Chapoutier in 1989, his son Michel has revamped the winemaking process, and in doing so has elevated the stature of Chapoutier wines to rival some of the greatest in the region. The firm farms its vineyards biodynamically, and believes in the concept of monocepage, or the idea that each wine is produced entirely from a single grape variety. Chapoutier believes that blending mutes, rather than enhances, the character he seeks from his wines. Today the Chapoutier wines are considered benchmarks for the region, and other producers have begun to borrow the techniques and practices that Michel has been perfecting for nearly two decades. Perhaps Robert Parker, in his monumental book The World's Greatest Wine Estates, sums up the Chapoutier firm best: "A true biodynamically run estate since 1989, the objective has been to produce the purest and most natural expressions of terroir possible. Every decision is based on enhancing the characteristics of a wine's terroir, varietal character, and vintage trademark. In short, it is the earth that inspires this firm."

See all Southern Rhone producers

See other similar producers: E. Guigal, Domaine Charvin

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