2011 Hermitage Le Chevalier de Sterimberg

Paul Jaboulet Aine

94Average Score
flagRhone / France

Starting off the 2011 whites, all of which were in bottle, the 2011 Hermitage Chevalier de Sterimberg (70% Marsanne and 30% Roussanne) offers up gorgeous honeyed fruits, creme, lemon, buttered citrus and distinct minerality in a medium to full-bodied, fresh, lively and pure package. Gaining richness and depth with air, with integrated acidity and additional nuttiness on the blockbuster finish, it’s a thrilling effort that will evolve for 15-20 years. ||Since 2006, owner Caroline Frey has been steadily pushing for increased quality at this historic estate. Moving all of the vineyards to sustainable farming (which takes years to see benefits), both the vineyard and cellar staff have been doubled. In addition, a new gravity operated cellar was set up in 2010. All of this shows, and across the board, the wines have impeccably made, clean and pure profiles. Looking at the individual Northern Rhône appellations, this estate produces four Hermitage (La Chapelle, La Chapelle Blanc, Le Petite Chapelle and Les Chevalier de Stérimberg), four Crozes Hermitage (Domaine de Thalabert, Domaine Mule Blanche, Domaine de Roure and Domaine de Roure Blanc), one Côte Rôtie (Domaine des Pierrelles), one Cornas (Domaine de Saint Pierre), one Saint Joseph (Domaine de la Croix des Vignes) and one Condrieu (Domaine des Grands Amandiers). Looking at 2011, Caroline stated that it was easy to get ripeness, and harvest was early to avoid heat stress on the grapes. Of the three most recent vintages (2011, 2012 and 2013), 2011 had the highest yields, with both 2012 and 2013 seeing a significant drop. I was able to taste a number of these wines twice, once in a larger lineup covering the individual appellations, and again at a tasting at the domaine, with Caroline and oenologist Jacques Desvernois. Wine Advocate.December, 2013

Jeb Dunnuck    Score: 94/100

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