Another wine that flirts with perfection, the 2020 Ermitage Le Méal comes from the steep, south-facing slope right in the heart of Hermitage hill. All destemmed and brought up in the standard 20% new barrels and demi-muids, it has a more tight, straight, almost reserved profile than usual yet doesn't lack for density, mid-palate depth, structure, and concentration. Blackberries, redcurrants, spice, dried flowers, and loamy earth all define the aromatics, and it's full-bodied, has ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. It needs to be forgotten for at least 5-7 years but will evolve for three decades.
Explosive ripe blackberries melded with spicy oak. Very smooth and generous, shot through with a thick weave of sweet, ripe tannins. The alcohol is on the high side, but this has very impressive concentration and tannic weight - coupled with balanced acidity this promises to age with interest. I love the sweet, soft tannins, but this will take a long time to come round and show fully display its terroir.
Drinking Window 2030 - 2045
Welcome to the dark side of the Hermitage force, complete with billowing smoke and a deep well of blackberry fruit. Staggering concentration and a massive structure that’s nonetheless very precise. Enormous depth and energy at the finish which moves across the palate like a giant wave, which you the drinker are surfing. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2025.
A ripe, sexy, opulent Hermitage, the 2020 Ermitage Le Méal has lots of black raspberry, violet, spring flower, and cured meat-like aromatics. It shows its Méal origin on the palate, where it’s full-bodied, has a creamy, velvety, opulent mouthfeel, ultra-fine tannins, and one gorgeous finish. It’s certainly the most extroverted in the lineup, but it still brings plenty of focus, freshness, and structure.