In my previous post I sang the praise of Angelo Gaja’s Barbaresco. But there was one wine in the line-up of my birthday tasting that stepped up to the challenge and said : “Hey, what’s all the fuss about?! Try me!”. And that was Michel Chapoutier’s Hermitage Moneau de la Sizeranne 2012 :
Sniffing from this glass gave us instant happiness. A very complex and seductive nose with initially a bit of typical syrah reduction, followed by ripe strawberries, black pepper, green herbs, tobacco and a bit of smoke. The wine was beautifully balanced, fresh and ripe at the same time. In a perfect spot to drink right now.
This Hermitage delivered big time. And to be honest, most of the wines I already had of Chapoutier do! Yesterday evening I opened a bottle of the Couronne de Chabot 2012, a Saint-Joseph that Chapoutier brings on the market with Yannick Alléno, a French top chef. Again typical syrah reduction aromas to begin with, real barnyard funk! Black pepper, laurel, ripe red fruit, and iron. Great freshness in this wine. And again instant happiness from the first sniff.
Other wines of Chapoutier that really blew me off my socks in the past were Les Varonniers, a Crozes-Ermitage, with great finesse and elegance. And Les Granits, a Saint-Joseph that shares the same characteristics as the Varonniers but that is maybe even more complex.
Unfortunately, the oohs and aahs that Chapoutier’s wines provoke all over the world push the prices up at a high speed. Especially for the “premium” wines. Luckily the quality of the “basic” cuvées of Chapoutier is still high, allowing everyone to enjoy a bit of instant happiness. The Crozes-Hermitage Y/M of Alléno and Chapoutier, for example, is a real taste bud pleaser coming at a very reasonable price.
When I visited Chapoutier’s shop last summer, I bought a few more bottles for when my need of endorphins is high. So don’t be surprised if you see more raving posts about Chapoutier in the future.