Hermitage 2005 Monier de la Sizeranne, M. Chapoutier
Monier de la Sizeranne is Chapoutier's most popular Hermitage. The grapes are sourced from several vineyards from a blending of different soils from West to East. Les Bessards with a granitic soil constitutes the "soul" of a good Hermitage, Le Méal with old alluvial terraces, with a lot of gravel. And finally Les Greffieux with silty soil. Each one contributes a different character to the final blend. The Wine Spectator scored this 94 points saying "A very minerally, driven style, with a strong iron-tinged spine driving the red and black currant, coffee, loam and dark licorice notes. This is tightly wound on the finish, so cellar to let it stretch out. Best from 2010 through 2020." Limited!
After returning from a week in France, where we tasted many wonderful wines, including one or two from Chapoutier, I was happy to see this at Wine Express. It was a bit pricey, but such as it is for good French wines these days. I can't say how disappointed I was when opening the first bottle. It is a pleasant little wine, but nothing approaching the great white that one would expect. The nose would be charitably described as "subtle" with no discerning features, and it is a telling introduction to the taste, which is more of the same. I can't say anything bad about the wine, but then again, I just can't say anything good about it. I realize that it received a good rating from WS, which was part of my buying decision, but I guess there is no accounting for taste. I definitely think one can get a superior wine for a fraction of the cost.