Much more open, fleshy and sexy, the 2012 Hermitage Blanc was just bottled a month prior to this tasting. Coming from l'Ermite, Les Rocoules, Maison Blanche and Peleat lieux-dits, it's always a rough blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne that's aged in barrel. Loaded with notions of honeysuckle, orange marmalade, powered rock, buttered citrus and green almond, it's full-bodied, rich, upfront and fruit loaded. While I think it will be a relatively accessible early in its life, it has the concentration to hold for two decades.
The ingredient from Péléat was in tank and had lovely honey and blossom scents as well as real excitement on the palate. The Rocoule portion, also from tank, was less aromatic but had great tension and considerable substance. L'Hermite tasted from cask was splendidly dense and rich with a slightly cheesy nose but masses of tension. 'To understand Hermitage Blanc, you have to be a gastronome', says J L Chave.