Robert Parker 97
The star of the show is the 2012 Hermitage Les Bessards. Coming from the pure granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit, on the western edge of the appellation, it’s made from 100% Syrah and spent 16 months in 70% new French oak. It’s an incredible wine that offers classic powdered rock-like minerality, loads of crème de cassis and black raspberry fruit, smoked meats, spice and dried-flower nuances. Complex, pure and perfumed, it’s full-bodied and seamless on the palate, with fabulous density, ultra-fine tannin structure and impeccable overall balance. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and drink it over the following two decades. This team continues to knockout it out of the park. Run by Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud, all of these new releases merit serious attention.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2037
Opaque ruby. Sexy, spice-accented blackberry and cherry compote aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice pastille and violet, with subtle olive and mineral nuances in the background. Shows excellent clarity and energy on the palate, offering bitter cherry and dark berry preserve flavors that become sweeter with air. Lithe, emphatically floral and penetrating, finishing with excellent thrust and smooth, late-arriving tannins.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2036