Chante-Alouette Hermitage Blanc 2017, M Chapoutier
France / Rhone
Andy's Tasting Notes
A truly superb example of the Marsanne grape – complex yet subtle, rich yet elegant. Quince, apricot, roasted hazelnut, ginger, spice, honey and brioche. Perfect balance with all its myriad parts beautifully dovetailed. New oak is sparingly used to add a creamy sheen yet is never dominant or pronounced. One of my dessert island wines.
Production notes – The grapes from which this wine is produced come from three different vineyards: 1. “Le Méal”: characterized by a soil of very old fluvio-glacial alluvial deposits with a high pebble content. 2. “Les Murets”: whose soil is clay-gravel. Its red clays give the wines a full, rich character. 3. “Chante-Alouette”: a high-lying terroir whose soil is a mixture of loess and very finely decomposed granite. It gives the wine freshness, salinity and acidity. The different plots (Méal, Murets and Chante-Alouette) are mainly located in the Ermite lieu-dit area, on high plateaus and plains with excellent exposure.
Jane MacQuitty, The Times, 6 February 2021
“Wonderful white from a great Rhône name made exclusively from old vine marsanne and worth every penny. Bursting with bold apricotty fruit, with a terrific, yeasty, brown-bread finish. This is a great example of the Rhône’s new era of fresh, fruity whites, yet with oomph.”
96pts Wine Spectator
Price per bottle £49.50
29 in stock
One of the oldest companies in the Rhône Valley, driven by Michel Chapoutier – the biodynamic pioneer of the region.
Marius, Michel Chapoutier’s great-grandfather, always said: ‘A good wine is one that beckons us to take another sip’. It was Marius who put the Chapoutier name firmly on the Rhône Valley map in the early 20th century and established its reputation for quality as far afield as America.
These wines reflect the warmth of the southern France terroirs in which they are rooted. Expressive, approachable and elegant wines that are created to be shared.
Since 1991, they have worked tirelessly to convert to biodynamic viticulture – “Chemical pesticides and herbicides are banned, instead introducing natural elements (minerals, plants, animals) to preserve balance. The soil is fed with organic matter; thus it preserves bacteria which is the real ‘Mother’ of the vine and will transform mineral into vegetal. This precious bacterium transmits the personality of the terroir to the vine and ultimately the wine. Biodynamics is also about understanding the cycles of the earth, the sun and the moon. From these observations we take crucial decisions: when to prune, when to harvest. Yields are respected and each terroir offers its pure essence.”
Food matchEnjoy with lobster, creamy chicken or mushroom dishes.