This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

October 25, 2011

MNSC Rhone Trip Day 3: Chapoutier

Winery tour at M. Chapoutier.  We were initially received by Export Director Stéphane Barlerin, and later by Michel Chapoutier and his wife Corinne.  Ron and Elva Laughton of Australia’s Jasper Hill were also visiting separately.

The outspoken Michel Chapoutier is clearly at the opposite end of the spectrum compared with Chave.  First of all, Chapoutier makes numerous single-vineyard cuvées to express the individual terroirs.  It is now also a big, global business, producing wines not only in Rhône but with numerous joint ventures in places such as Australia and Alsace.

2011 Chapoutier Saint-Joseph, from a new parcel – very soft and approachable.

2011 Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée – bigger nose, more spices, slightly more of the soft tannins.

2010 (Couronne de Chabot) – a JV with Yannick Alléno of Le Meurice.  Minerality was very obvious in the nose.

2010 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon – very floral, spices, dried herbs, coffee, smoke, and minerals.  A very lovely nose, but still pretty tannic at this stage.

2010 Chapoutier Ermitage L’Ermite Rouge – elegant nose with more tannins and structure.

2008 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon – lovely and elegant, with floral, mineral, exotic spices, and sweet fruit that wasn’t overripe.  Soft on the palate with no finish.

2008 Chapoutier Ermitage L’Ermite Rouge – the vineyard is on top of the hill around the famous “la chapelle”, planted on pure granite.  Very elegant, potpourri and spices.  Slightly more alcoholic on the nose.  More tannins here with a little more body and finish.

2008 Chapoutier Ermitage de L’Orée – honeysuckle, honey, a little tangerine, not overripe on the nose, but slightly alcoholic.  Very lovely.  A wine that Michel Chapoutier likes to pair with century eggs (皮蛋) when having Chinese food.

2008 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Méal Blanc – a much bigger nose with more glycerin.  Overall bigger, rounder with more body.  Slightly sweet on the palate, and with slightly more length.

Lunch at Chapoutier with Michel and the extended group.

2006 Chapoutier Ermitage de L’Orée en magnum – honey, glycerin, elegant, fat and lovely.

2006 Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée en magnum – lovely floral nose with violet and mint.

2007 Chapoutier Les Coufis en demi-bouteille  – made from Viognier.  Glycerin, a little polyurethane, ripe orange marmalade on the nose, and still pretty sharp.  Really ripe and sweet on the palate, but mid-palate was slightly bitter, which carried over to the finish.

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