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An astonishingly rich Marsanne from century-old vines.
Marsanne in the Valais is called Ermitage in hommage to, of course, Hermitage. This is my special favourite in Marie-Therese Chappaz's range. It used to be easier to get, too, compared to her Petite Arvine, but in the meantime others have caught on how magical it is so it is almost as hard to reserve. The name has changed over the years as have some of the choices made in vinification, but it is stunning year on year.
It starts with old vines of Marsanne planted by her great uncle Maurice Troillet - almost 100 years ago. They are unbelievably gnarly on a very steep vineyard. This is heroic winemaking and I am so glad there is a lady on this planet crazy enough to do it, because I would miss that wine dearly if it didn't exist.
The wine is expressive and complex. It starts with a typical Marsanne profile and Marie Therese's signature - with the additional concentration that very old vines bring. Think ripe plums, an earthy, spicy undercurrent, and the mineral freshness and precision - it's almost airy at times, and yet so powerful. Lots of texture. A bit more exotic than Rhone Marsanne.
If you have a blind taster in your life that you love a lot, but also want to befuddle, this is it.
The wine is finished in oak for 18 months.
|Style||White, Still, Dry, Single Variety|
|Aged In||Barrel (old)|
|Key Features||Organic, Biodynamic, Reserve, Low Intervention, "Natural", "Slow Wine", Vegetarian and Vegan|
|Bought In (year)||2019|