Chapoutier 2015: “Grandiose and Exceptional!”

Critics and winemakers suggest Rhone 2015 will be incredible. Next week FINE+RARE will be tasting samples of Chapoutier 2015. Offers to follow, but here’s a preview of the potential must-haves from Maison M. Chapoutier…

Chapoutier 2015 rhone register interest

Michel Chapoutier advises that “Considering the rare and exceptional quality of this 2015 vintage…” he believes that the wines we will be tasting and selling next week “…could very well be the opportunity of a lifetime for those who are astute enough to move early.” Find out more below and be prepared for the offers to follow…

Maison M. Chapoutier 2015

In 2016, Chapoutier was declared the most admired French wine brand by Drinks International. The annual list is put together by over 200 Masters of Wine, sommeliers, teachers and journalists, based on continuous improvement of quality, reflection of terroir and global appeal. Their limited quantity, old vine, biodynamically cultivated wines have received more 100 point scores from Robert Parker than any other winery. Chapoutier’s wines are an appealing opportunity even in lesser vintages, but with the hype of 2015 they are not to be missed. As Christelle Acosta, Technical Director at Maison M. Chapoutier explains: “2015 is already a great vintage. It will remain exceptional, and become legendary in years to come.”

2015 Rhone Vintage

The 2015 Rhône vintage should be firmly on all collectors’ radar. Jancis Robinson’s summary of 2015 in the Northern Rhône (home to most of the Chapoutier 2015 samples we’ll be tasting) was: “Universally viewed as a vintage with top quality potential.” and she went on to divulge in her blog that: “Marcel Guigal confessed to his son that in 55 vintages he has never seen a vintage like 2015.” Stephane Ogier, son of Michel Ogier, said  of 2015 in the Rhone that: “There’s not a single plot that I would qualify as ‘lesser’. They go from very good to exceptional whether it’s Village or Premier Crus.” And Maison M. Chapoutier echo these extremely positive views, summing up the 2015 vintage as: “grandiose and exceptional!”

At Chapoutier, the vintage commenced in a “decidedly leisurely fashion.” However a spring spurt that followed was so rapid additional hands were brought in to secure the vine shoots and prevent them being snapped by the Mistral. Summer brought a heat wave with temperatures reaching 35°C daily. Chamomile and yarrow tisanes were applied to relieve the stress on the vines and rains in August and September re-established balance. Michel Chapoutier has always focussed on viticulture, saying: “Too many winemakers try to correct the vintage. For me, the quality is done in the vineyard and the winemaking has to be extremely simple.” So, in a hot vintage where the challenge will be to retain acidity, Chapoutier’s biodynamic methods and attention to detail will stand them in good stead.

The Wines

There will be fierce demand for these wines and availability will be extremely limited, especially for the Ermitage range. Delivery dates will vary with the majority being ready in 2018. Critic scores are yet to be released, but the enthusiasm for this vintage and the scores of previous vintages tell us that these wines will be something special. Below is a list of the 2015 vintage wines we will be tasting in the office. To give you an idea of the quality of these wines, we have also provided Robert Parker scores for the previous six vintages for them, which includes eighteen perfect 100 pointers…

 

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 2015

93-95

94

95

93

96

96

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois 2015

93-95

93

94

92

94

95

Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée 2015

93-95+

94

97

94

93+

96

Crozes-Hermitage Les Varonniers 2015

90-93

93

92

95

94

92+

Ermitage Blanc de l’Orée 2015

98+

100

99

99

100

100

Ermitage Blanc Le Méal 2015

97

100

97

99

100

99

Ermitage Blanc l’Ermite 2015

100

100

100

100

100

100

Ermitage Le Méal 2015

95-97+

97

98

98

99+

100

Ermitage Le Pavillon 2015

96-98

98+

100

100

100

100

Ermitage l’Ermite 2015

96-98+

96+

100

98+

100

98+

Ermitage Les Greffieux 2015

95-98

94

97

94

98

95

Saint-Joseph Le Clos 2015

94-97

96

96+

97

Saint-Joseph Les Granits 2015

94-97

93+

96

94

95+

94

Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015

95

96

95

95

96

98

 

Chapoutier’s First Impressions

In Maison M. Chapoutier’s own words from November 2015:

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 2015: “Barbe Rac is delicacy itself. Ripe crushed strawberries evolve towarads indulgent chocolate notes with exceptionally velvety tannins that caress the palate.”

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois 2015: “Croix de Bois, swept by the Mistral, is beginning to emerge from its austerity. The fruit is ripe but very black with herbaceous notes which enliven the palate with a  floral touch. Powerful and exhilarating.”

Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée 2015: “La Mordorée proposes graphite and schist on the nose, followed by floral aromas. It is a wine full of elegance, of rare concentration, with a distinguished palate. Highly promising.”

Crozes-Hermitage Les Varonniers 2015: “Les Varonniers is showing itself to be tensile, with a nose of blackcurrant, graphite and the minerality of granite. A surprising wine.”

Ermitage Blanc de l’Orée 2015: “De l’Orée proffers aromas of riper fruit with nuances of grilled maize and a touch of anise. The palate is generous and well balanced, finishing with the noble bitterness typical of the Grand Ermitage whites.”

Ermitage Blanc Le Méal 2015: “Le Méal white is ain quite another register with its notes of mango, a rich and generous first palate and an extremely complex finish with characteristic notes of reduction.”

Ermitage Blanc l’Ermite2015: “L’Ermite white is a wine of great finesse, with notes of reduction and a flinty nose. The attach is supremely fresh and the palate mouth-wateringly saline… the expression of extreme minerality.”

Ermitage Le Méal 2015: No note provided.

Ermitage Le Pavillon 2015: “Le Pavillon, characterised by graphite, is still showing restraint, behind which one can sense its immense potential power. It is still early days, but the tannins are already very fine grained, silky and of extreme density.”

Ermitage l’Ermite 2015: “L’Ermite red stood head and shoulders above the others at the first vat tasting. it already embodied all the magnificence of the Ermitages and, once again, we are enamoured. Black fruit, complexity, a rch and generous palate with tannins of immense finesse. Exceptional.”

Ermitage Les Greffieux 2015: “Les Greffieux offers another, less habitual, approach to L’Ermitage, with notes of blueberry intermingled with dense black pepper, and magnificent length.”

Saint-Joseph Le Clos 2015: “Le Clos is full of finesse with silky tannins and very concentrated toasted and blackcurrant aromas.”

Saint-Joseph Les Granits 2015: “Les Granits red demonstrates excellent maturity, resulting in exceptional concentration with tannins which are still very tight and inky aromas impregnated with minerality.”

Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015: “Les Granits white is distinguished by the predominant notes of acacia and fennel which are its signature. The attack is elegant and fresh with a finish which is already very saline.”

 

While you wait for offers on Maison M. Chapoutier 2015, why not view other vintages of Chapoutier or other Rhone wines from 2015.