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The grand vin is the 2012 Hermitage la Chapelle, and it lives up to the billing in 2012. Coming mostly from the Meal and aged in just 20% new French oak, it's a blockbuster that exhibits thrilling, mineral-drenched notes of spiced dark fruits, beef blood, black olive and toast. Full-bodied, deep, layered and incredibly concentrated, it has a stacked mid-palate and enough tannin to warrant another 4-5 years of bottle age. It will have 2-3 decades of overall prime drinking, and certainly evolve for longer.
The flagship 2012 Hermitage La Chapelle is a gorgeous effort that should be one of the top handful of wines in the vintage. Coming mostly from the domaine's 17 acres in the warmer Le Meal lieu-dit and aged 15-18 months in 20% new French oak, it exhibits a tight, structured feel, with ample graphite, blackberry, roasted meats, espresso and licorice aromas and flavors all flowing from the glass. Full-bodied, incredibly pure and with masses of fine tannin, it's blockbuster stuff that will require short-term cellaring to become approachable and have 2-3 decades of overall evolution.