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1990 Ermitage Le Pavillon Chapoutier Rhone  France Still wine

1990 Ermitage Le Pavillon

Chapoutier

100Average Score
flagRhone / France
Red

The 1989 Hermitage-Le Pavillon, which I have now had on four different occasions, is indeed one of the most extraordinary young wines I have ever tasted. It should last for 30-40 years. Only 600 cases were made. Yet I must admit that the 1990 Hermitage-Le Pavillon (also 600 cases) is as compelling as the 1989. It exhibits slightly less opulence, but more power and weight. Black-colored, with an extraordinary perfume of licorice, sweet blackcurrants, smoke, and minerals, it coats the palate with layer upon layer of decadently rich, super-concentrated, nearly viscous Syrah flavors. There is amazing glycerin, a chewy, unctuous texture, and phenomenal length. The tannins, which are considerable when analyzed, are virtually obscured by the massive quantities of fruit. I hope I live to see the day when Chapoutier's 1990 Hermitage-Le Pavillon, Chave's 1990 Hermitage, and Jaboulet's 1990 Hermitage-La Chapelle are fully mature! What a trio of wines these three producers have produced from this historic appellation! My best guess for the aging potential of the Hermitage-Le Pavillon is that it is more forward than both the Chave and Jaboulet Hermitages, but should you have the good fortune to find a bottle or two, do not open it for at least 7-10 years. It should last for 30-40 years. The young Michel Chapoutier continues his quest of cultivating his vineyards in an organic fashion, and turning out wines that reflect the soil, the grape, and the vintage. These concentrated (because of low yields) wines are made with minimal intervention by the winemaker. Chapoutier did extremely well with his northern Rhone vineyards in 1991. Last year I reported that Chapoutier had made a perfect wine from 70-80 year old vines that rendered only 14 hectoliters per hectare. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 84.

Robert Parker    Score: 100/100

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