M Chapoutier

2011 M Chapoutier Hermitage Chante-Alouette

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Made from 100% Marsanne hand-harvested from three different vineyards: Le Méal, has old fluvio-glacial alluvial deposit soil with numerous deposits; Les Murets with granitic soils and alluvial deposits, Chante-Alouette is set on less soil with a fine layer of clay and limestone. Michel Chapoutier chooses not to use Roussanne in the blend believing it to age too quickly. After pressing, the must is cold-settled for 48 hours. One third is vinified in big, 600-litre, wooden barrels which are regularly stirred, and the rest in vats. The temperature of fermentation is regulated at around 19°C in order to develop the aromatic complexity of wines. Before bottling, the wine is checked by frequent tasting to determine the appropriate ageing period, usually from 10 to 12 months. Green-gold; the nose is complex and subtle, aromas of quince, walnut, honey, ginger and acacia; the minerally palate is weighty, elegant and lengthy.

Possibly the finest cuvee of this wine I have ever tasted, the stunning, rich 2011 Ermitage Chante Alouette comes from three separate parcels on Hermitage Hill (Meal, Les Murets and Chante Alouette) and reveals plenty of white currant, buttered citrus, tangerine oil and honeysuckle along with hints of such exotic fruits as mango. It is a full-bodied, Montrachet-styled, dry white. - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 95

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This is the most impressive Chante-Alouette I can recall, boasting layers of honeyed pineapple fruit, the barest hint of fresh, just-golden toastiness and notes of gingered apricot. It's full bodied and lush on the palate, ending long and mouthwatering. It should drink well into 2015, but expect it to close up only to re-emerge between 2020 and 2030. - Wine Enthusiast - 92