Ermitage Le Pavillon, Chapoutier 2003

RegionRhône
SubregionHermitage
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
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Rhône2003Ermitage Le Pavillon, ChapoutierBT063,000.00cs100 RPAdd to Basket
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Tasting Notes

A legend of the future is the 2003 Ermitage Le Pavillon (659 cases). The equal of such stupendous examples as 1990 and 1989, the 2003 is incredibly rich as well as awesomely well-delineated and fresh. An inky/blue/purple color is followed by a subtle but impressively intense nose of barbecue smoke, creme de cassis, blueberries, blackberries, and white flowers. The wine cascades over the palate (15.8% natural alcohol) with extraordinary richness, intensity, and silkiness. This seamlessly constructed Hermitage is, analytically, high in tannin, but extremely low in acidity, with a freaky accessibility (a vintage character). Prodigiously concentrated and high in extract, it should last for a half century or longer. It will be fascinating to follow over the next several decades.

Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (163), February 2006

An awesome effort, the 2003 Ermitage La Pavillon is produced from an old vineyard in Les Bessards. Tasting this wine is akin to a religious drinking experience. An endlessly complex, extraordinarily rich, complicated offering, it may last a century. There are 500 cases of this wine, which smells like acacia flowers intermixed with black currant liqueur, melted licorice, Chinese black tea, and incense. With supple tannin, an unctuous texture, and a massive finish, this is a legend in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2060+. As I have said so many times over the last 15 years, the top Chapoutier wines are meant for very long term drinking, and are not designed for immediate gratification. Everything Chapoutier is doing, from his bio-dynamically farmed vineyard to tiny yields, extended fermentations, indigenous yeasts, and no fining or filtration, is done to produce the essence of a vineyard and a vintage. His track record since 1989 and 1990 admirably proves that these are indeed remarkable wines made by a young genius who refuses to compromise. Michel Chapoutier has been misunderstood by some of his peers, and there is a lot of jealousy when someone this young is so incredibly talented, but it is an irrefutable fact that these are wines of singular greatness as well as longevity.

Score: 99/100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (156), December 2004

Even better, and topping out on my scale, the 2003 Ermitage le Pavillon comes all from the granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit and was aged 100% in new barrels. Its inky ruby/black color is followed by off the hook aromas and flavors of plum, creme de cassis, licorice, crushed rocks and violet/incense-like qualities. This gives way to a full-bodied, dense, seamless and textured 2003 that has building tannin, awesome concentration and a blockbuster finish. Drink it anytime over the coming two decades, although, as with the Le Meal, it's gorgeous now.

Finishing harvest at the end of August, Michel Chapoutier produced a monumental lineup of wines in 2003, and enough can't be said about the quality coming for this estate. To say I was blown away would be an understatement.

Score: 100Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.