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Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
White - Sweet/Dessert

1986 Domaine de Bablut Coteaux de l'Aubance Moelleux

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This wine has a fine golden hue, with some depth to it although it is not richly coloured. The nose is subtle, showing notes of orange zest and Demerara sugar, rather reminiscent of the 1990 Bellerive Quarts de Chaume although with a less intense character. This is all rather quieter soft and mellifluous, giving an attractive although hardly intense experience. Onto the palate, and this has a fine substance, showing an appealing flesh at the start and this holds up through the middle. And here there is some delightful high-toned complexity, with the sweetness carrying along notes of oatmeal, and plenty of fine mature-Chenin character, a blend of smoke and cheesy funk, dense crunchy-crystalline sugar-coated fruit, backed up by vibrant, tingling acidity and more than a touch of grip. This acid, which sits at the very core of the wine, has a notable, fine, needle-like presence, supporting some lovely, gently sugar-sweet fruit. And it is very long. This is certainly not the most prodigious of cuvées, and texture-hedonists will be better off elsewhere, but those seeking a mature character, dressed up with gently mellifluous fruit, will find this to be very good I think. 16 points
Red

2000 M. Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois

Grenache more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This is sweet, with an interesting nose, quickly opening out to reveal a fine and savoury substance, with tinges of leather, dried fruit and touches of orange zest. This all seems very promising, aromatically at least. Sweet and liquorice-tinged flavours in the mouth but despite this overall quite a reserved palate, fresh and keeping a bright character throughout, with an upright poise as well. On the whole, an attractive wine for the appellation. 16.5 points
Red

2008 M. Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Bernardine

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This comes in at 14%, officially declared at least, and is predominantly Grenache. There is really rather fresh and bright fruit here, albeit with a toffee coat, and this is soon joined by touches of nut and raisin too. On the palate it has a polished substance, a stony fruit ball, showing some meaty and spicy elements alongside. Overall I find this to have a hot, baked, raisin and nut character, and it is clearly not made with my palate in mind. A very warm climate wine...with a touch of oxidation too? 13 points
White

2009 M. Chapoutier Condrieu Invitare

Viognier more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
From a granite terroir. A small amount of the wine has undergone malolactic fermentation. Not all that expressive on the nose, despite Condrieu's reputation as an aromatic variety. A touch of butter here though, diacetyl from the malolactic perhaps, giving the wine a milky edge. Rather polished feel to it as well though. Slightly disparate on the palate, with a bigger substance to it than I expected. And surprisingly an appealing core of acidity at the middle. Overall rather a broad style, long too, composed but with a focus away from the aromatic Condrieu fruit. 16.5 points
Red

2007 M. Chapoutier Cornas Les Arenes

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
From a small plot of Chapoutier vines close to the St-Pierre chapel, a granite terroir, plus purchased fruit of course. This example of this famed appellation has some dense and smoky fruit on the nose, although alongside I also detect a slightly green and vegetal edge. It has a grippy style on the palate, with a nicely rounded fruit quality, polished and imposing. Nevertheless it does also have some green flavours reminiscent of green peppercorn. This seems substantial, with a deeper grip than expected, but also a suggestion of elegance. An attractive wine in itself, but not one that I find to be very typical of the appellation. 15 points
Red

2000 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
A maturing nose here, very gamey, with some hints of undergrowth amongst the mature roasted fruit. There are some notes of rubber too suggesting reduction here. Despite this it is much brighter and fresher on the palate than I expected, showing a gentle substance. It doesn't have the vigour of the white wines that preceded it, but there is a soft substance to it. Not so well defined, rather cool and stony, signs of freshness despite the gamey tinges, and with more time in the glass it does seem to take on more vigour. There is some Brett here though; nevertheless with time in the glass this rather animally wine does grow on me somewhat, although more via the palate than the nose. 15 points
Red

2006 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This has a dark and youthful hue. The fruit profile on the nose has a rather juicy character, chewy and a touch sweet, with a perfumed edge that is particularly striking. The palate is very coolly reserved though, clean and structured, surprisingly feminine in its composition but also still very grippy and upright. In its slightly awkward youth I find this a little difficult to assess. Nevertheless, there is certainly some stony substance and potential here. 16? points
Red

2007 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie Les Bécasses

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This cuvée is mostly Syrah, with a 3% dash of Viognier. It is predominantly made using purchased fruit, usually with a small amount from Chapoutier's own vineyards thrown into the mix. It is rather smoky and vegetal, with hints of angelica, giving it a sweet but not fresh feel. The palate is polished and grippy, with full and bright fruit coming through in the middle, and there is an appealing and long substance to it. There is a roasted, burnt earth character which I find suggestive of the appellation, but the vigour and integration I want just isn't here. Attractive, but lacking in excitement. 15 points
Red

2009 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
A widely distributed, entry-level cuvée. This has some sweet and spicy fruit on the nose, with more than a touch of medicinal cherry. Nevertheless, it has quite an attractive palate, showing freshness and some poise. Here the cherry fruit takes on a more burnt note, and lots of spice and grip, slowly becoming less medicinal and fresher in style with some air contact. A fresh, stony edge to the fruit. This is surprisingly attractive overall, and offers decent value at the sort of price this is knocked out at. 14.5 points
White

2010 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc

White Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
A blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Maccabeu, grown on granite, chalk and clay, fermented in stainless steel. This has a soft, feminine style of perfumed fruit on the nose, although it is very young. A minerally tinge, and a soft volcanic edge to it provide some interest. Quite a fresh and vigorous style on the palate though, minerally and rather grippy. Fresh, with decent acids despite that soft fruit character on the nose. Still rather spritzy on the palate. Quite a reserved fruit character overall, more stony than I expected. In the end, a really nice wine. 16 points
Red

2008 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de Bila-Haut L'Esquerda

Syrah Blend, Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This cuvée certainly has a fresher feel than the Occultum Lapidem. This sees just 10% oak. A much cleaner character on the nose, quite perfumed in fact. Quite polished and fresh, a cleanly framed wine, with great acidity here backing this up. There is also some lovely fresh fruit vibrancy in the end. The style here is much more convincing and to my taste. Long and crunchy. Good wine. 16.5 points
Red

2008 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour Dom de Bila-Haut V.I.T Visitare Interiore Terrae

Grenache Blend, Grenache more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
The VIT stands for Visitare Interiore Terrae, it seems. A lovely bright colour in the glass, with a concentrated and perfumed character aromatically. Polished fruit on the palate, with a slightly sweet style. Rather a supple composition, nicely integrated, with good grip to it, and piles of welcome, forceful acidity too. There is a lot of structure here behind this gently polished facade, composed of ripe and slightly grainy tannins. Ripe and long. Quite a substantial wine, in need of cellaring I think. The alcohol is declared as 14.5%, yet this doesn't come across at all. 16.5 points
Red

2008 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem

Grenache Blend, Grenache more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
From a gneiss terroir. Latour de France is a regional village designation, not just marketing! This sees 50% oak. A slightly meaty and gamey aspect to the fruit here, along with some rubbery elements also. A polished start on the palate, quite supple, bitter and grippy, but then it clearly display that firm rubbery element again. Quite a rustic style overall, with big tannins and a drying feel to it. 13.5 points
Red

2009 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila-Haut

Red Rhone Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
From several plots, of gneiss and granite terroirs. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. This has a rather furry-fruit character here, with a touch of toffee sur-maturité too. It is sweetly textured at the start although more firm, structured and savoury through the middle. A supple substance to it, good flesh and grip, and plenty of vigour here, although the fruit seems a little less fresh than I would like. The finish is grippy and bright. You can sense the warmth here though, and I see that the alcohol is 14.5%. 14 points
Red

2000 M. Chapoutier Crozes-Ermitage Les Varonniers

Crozes-Hermitage Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This seems really very closed down on the nose, showing rather a lot of reduction, along with some gamey tinges. Chapoutier finds some graphite minerality in the wine, but what I find more prominent are the gamey-meaty notes, along with a little greenness. An easy going palate, quite relaxed, but through the middle showing more tension and lots of crystal-tinged fruit, as well as an awful lot of spice here and though into the finish which also shows some rather sharp structure. Substantially through the middle it is pleasing but the rather spiky structure dominates more towards the end. 15 points
Red

2008 M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This is 13%, and produced from old Syrah vines, a mix of Chapoutier and purchased fruit. Both oak and concrete fermentation vessels are used. Surprisingly a rather pale hue for the variety. And it is not very expressive, showing some unexpected calcareous, seashell elements, and it also seems a touch vegetal. There follows a very lean palate, with a pretty sharp character. The structure and substance does build in the middle though. It don't find the necessary fruit to fill this out properly. Although showing a peppery freshness it lacks character and seems rather flat in terms of affect. Having said that, some fellow tasters really liked it, so there must be something here. 14 points
Red

2009 M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Petite Ruche

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
An example of this appellation at a level below the Varonniers and Meysonniers bottlings, this sees no oak at all, with both fermentation and élevage in concrete. Fresh, crunchy cherry fruit on the nose, with a beautifully clean character. This fresh style continues on the palate, which is lifted and bright. The structure is light, with a fine and elegant composition. This is all wrapped up in an attractive and very appealing, fruit-orientated style. Good value for money I would think. 16.5 points
White

2001 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée

Hermitage Marsanne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This is very different in style to the much younger white wines tasted earlier. Here we have more evolved notes on the nose, nuances of honey and gingerbread, and honey-toffee pineapple, all jostling to express the richness of the wine. Despite this, there is also a firm minerally-stony theme to it, giving the wine a fresh and bright frame. On the palate, a very fine and substantial wine, cool and quite grippy, with a huge structure tightening down on the wine at the end. Overall, with its huge depth and evolved complexity, this is a very seductive, gorgeous and supple composition. I do feel, however, that this grandeur will be eclipsed by the 2007s given time. 17.5 points
White

2007 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée

Hermitage Marsanne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
An intense nose, very suggestive of minerally depth, with a taut and concentrated style behind the dried-fruit character. Rather serious, matchsticky, slightly reductive, and a peach-skin substance. The same character comes through on the palate, with a great tension running through the middle of the wine, along with a mineral vibrancy. Showing great substance in the finish, a touch creamy, although the underlying structure keeps it taut and focused. And it is very long too. Excellent. 18.5 points
White

2000 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc l'Ermite

Hermitage Marsanne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
There is a surprisingly fresh and lifted, floral nose here, with scents of chalky fruit, beautifully fresh and evocative, very floral and expressive, like "summer rain on a hot stone" says Michel Chapoutier and I can see his point. The palate follows on in the same style, showing a more substantial character in the midpalate, but maintaining an finely granitic, stony substance to it. And yet despite this stony backbone it has a defined character, lifted, broad, not fleshy but reserved and honestly textured. A very impressive wine which speaks very clearly of its appellation, I feel. 18 points
White

2007 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc l'Ermite

Hermitage Marsanne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
The nose here is expressive, open, suggesting fruit vibrancy and freshness, but with the same density that the preceding wines have shown. A lovely supple character on the palate, quite tense at its core but with a relaxed layer of fruit around it. A good bitterness to it too. Plenty of this bitter grip to it in the finish, rolling along and giving it a lot of length. It shows much more density and substance with time, a deeper and different character even, with nuances of complex, bright tropical fruit and a spicy white-pepper edge. It does have a more relaxed feel than this note suggests though. 18 points
White

2000 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc Le Méal

Hermitage Marsanne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This is certainly more interesting than the Crozes-Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie that preceded it. Smoky, reserved and restrained fruit on the nose, with a tinge of reduction here as well. Quite meaty, some evolution here, but it gives a sense of tautness and definition. Much greater form to this wine, stone-tinged fruit, really well formed on the palate, grippy and taut. A fine construction on the finish, defined and well-framed, with a polished substance, well balanced extract and tension, with bright and well-judged acidity. A great wine, very true to the appellation, a massive step up in terms of quality. In the finish it remains taut, grippy and spicy, and there is good length. Delicious. 18.5 points
White

2007 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc Le Méal

Hermitage Marsanne more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
Fermented in 600-litre demi-muids, with 10-12 months in barrel before tasting. A more substantial nose here, a more concentrated substance to it, without the vibrant, taut, mineral suggestions of the De L'Orée. Then more creamy fruit nuances come to the fore, with notes of vanilla and face cream over the dried-candied fruit sweetness, and again here we have a matchsticky element. Much more sweet and broad on the palate than I expected, the structure here better hidden, but at its very core there is a tingling, needling minerality and acidity. It the finish, very substantial and full of spice, and it is very long. Classic style here. 18 points
Red

1991 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon

Hermitage Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
A remarkable wine, served blind, and clearly now fully mature. Once the label is revealed we learn it was harvested at less than 10 hl/ha, and the fermentation vessels were one-third chestnut. Great substance on the nose, evolved and slightly undergrowthy, but still with a very convincing showing of fruit alongside. A supple and well-polished palate, fresh and light-footed, fine rather than roasted, beautifully cool and expressive. Very long in the finish too. There is structure and grip underneath it all, so there is no rush to drink this, although it certainly is delicious right now. 18.5 points
Red

2001 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon

Hermitage Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
May 2011
This wine has an admirably rich hue, and admittedly a slightly reduced character on the nose. But there is some attractive fruit behind, showing some early evolution, it is just that there is also a slight rubbery tinge to it all, although thankfully it is not sufficient to really distract from the wine. Despite this aromatic profile it is very clean on the palate, with broad substance, sitting within a cool and fresh frame. Long, structured and spicy finish. Overall this is firmly composed and certainly in need of more cellar time yet. Good potential here. 17.5 points
  • Reviews: 42 /
  • Wines: 42

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