M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc Le Meal 2007
WA99: I was shocked by the 2007 Ermitage le Meal Blanc and from a vintage that yielded mostly forward, supple and approachable efforts, it has stunning concentration, density, depth and texture. Still light/medium gold in color, it offers classic crushed-rock-like minerality, licorice, charcoal and sautéed peach characteristics to go with a lively, fresh, yet full-bore and decadent profile on the palate. It has the concentration and purity to evolve for decades, but is mind-blowing stuff today.
VM94: Pale greenish gold. Orange, pear, hazelnut, sweet butter, truffle and minerals on the nose, with a slow-building floral quality; like a serious Chassagne-Montrachet. Palate-staining sweet citrus and orchard fruit flavors are underscored by smoky minerals and talc. The minerality seems to gain power on the finish, which is strikingly pure, focused and persistent. More energetic than the l'Oree, and in need of more patience.