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September 201599 Another sensational white that made my eyes roll back in my head, the 2003 Hermitage Blanc is even more over the top and decadent than the '09. Possessing almost no acidity, it's a flamboyant, massively concentrated, decadent and heady effort that's overflowing with notions of honey, caramelized oranges, currants, licorice and buttered hazelnuts. Staying fresh and lively, it's a monumental Hermitage Blanc that will probably live forever on its sheer concentration.
November 15, 200697 Offers remarkable focus and purity for the vintage, with streamlined macadamia nut, acacia flower, blanched almond and white peach flavors backed by fine minerality. Long, pure finish just sails on. Drink now through 2026. 500 cases made.
International Wine Cellar
January 200697 "The white wines in 2003 can either be magic or very bad," said Jean-Louis before he poured this elixir. Pale gold. Dusty and spicy on the nose, with intense licorice, orange peel and mineral tones. Absolutely huge on the palate, with an oily, viscous texture that is shocking. The extract here is almost painful and the richness of flavor utterly compelling. (This clocked in at 16.5% alcohol, with less than 2 grams per liter of acidity.) Thick, buttery flavors of orchard fruits and orange bitters, complicated by minerals and smoke. The floral, honeyed finish won't let up. "You need the type of food your doctor won't let you eat," replied Jean-Louis when I asked him what he would pair this with. "Escoffier cuisine, textured foods, old-style haute cuisine like sauce Nantua, food that needs wine to cut through it."