My last bottle and a hybrid of my two 2013 notes. A wine you can only drink in the privacy of your own home as there is no way you can tell from bottle to bottle what you're going to get to risk it with guests. Decanted for 90 minutes. Intense (almost alarming) gold-green colour in decanter but more "normal" in glass. Exotic fruit aromas with an asparagus tinge. Addition of vanilla on the palate, viscous with minerality and capsicum grip for balance. This bottle was more than excellent albeit à point and for drinking over the next year. Given its chronic inconsistency however, drink up with a substitute at the ready. Bonne chance!!
Oh what a frustrating wine! My fourth note and by far the best but all different. Effectively PnP'd as an emergency follow up to a bottle of Lafite '70 - noted - that garnered the same score but didn't make it (due to consumption - not fault!) to the dinner table. Good green-gold colour, completely fresh stoned white fruit aromas, not a hint of oxidisation. Viscous rich nectarine, peach & honeysuckle palate, in balance with an unobtrusive acidity and some attractive minerality. Full and with good length. Perfect accompaniment with our roast chicken et al. Disappeared in a flash. 93+. Strictly for home consumption (with backup) as far too inconsistent. This bottle would have been good for another 5+ years, others I've had were flawed or past it.
1998 Chapoutier L'Oree - An amazing wine that leaned more towards its stone-essence - flint, wet rock, pit fruit (peach). This wine was more in line with structure, and had a steely body, everything was so precise and balanced. Structured and based on precision and elegance. A very nobel wine.
My first exposure to the L'Oree. I think I may have been the only one at the table to prefer the 2000. I found it slightly more open and inviting. From other hermitage blancs (of lesser pedigree) I've had in the past, these both held the characteristic Hermitage profile (as these wines probably wrote the book on classic Hermitage !) I really enjoy the Marsanne variatel profile. I find Marsanne to have a waxiness/paraffin/pastey texture/flavor that I just love (from reading others tasting notes - maybe other tasters describe this as oily?). I did not pick up on any oxidation in either of the wines. Both are easily classics IMHO.
2+ hour decant. Extraordinary colour, almost onion skin in the refraction of my Stuart crystal ship's decanter. In the glass more greeny deepish gold. I feared the worst, indeed had a completely different backup bottle at the ready expecting the wine to be oxidised as all too many mature white Rhones are. Remarkably, given the omens, the nose was clear indeed somewhat muted. Hints of peach and exotic fruit aromatics. Good waxy mouth feel, almost sweet on the palate with mature vegetal backdrop. My wife and I decided that it was odd but clearly classy and perversely enjoyable. I've decided to give up on this wine and will drink my remaining bottles ASAP with backup at hand hoping for the best but expecting - well - anything! Too inconsistent/variable to risk on unsuspecting guests. I repeat my earlier rant to white Rhone producers, ditch the cork and bring on the screw cap.
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(M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée) Medium golden yellow color; lanolin, baked lemon, apple cider, lime cream nose; tight, tart apple, apple cider, lemon, mineral palate; medium finish (probably a faulty bottle, not at all as good as when I've had it in the past)
(M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée) Medium golden yellow color; sexy, creamy, floral and floaty lemon nose; very tasty, poised, tart lemon, lemon oil and mineral palate with light oily texture; medium-plus finish 97+ pts.
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