They were appreciated as early on as Roman times when they were enjoyed (as well as Côte Rotie wines) under the name of " Vienne wines "and were later to be called " Saint Christopher's hillside wines " because of a chapel there bearing the saint's name. They were also to be known of as " Tournon wines ".
The name of Ermitage probably first appeared in the XVIIth Century in memory of Henry Gaspard, a knight from Stérimberg : who having come back from the Crusades (in the XIIIth Century) and tired of waging war, lived as a hermite on a hillside which had been given to him by Anne of Castille, Queen of Spain.
There he planted a vineyard. Alexander Dumas as well as the Tsar Nicholas II are among the many connoisseurs of this particularly highly estimated wine.
GRAPE VARIETY: Syrah. The age of the vines (90-100 years) guarantees a very high quality production.
SOIL: This plot has an area of approximatively 4 ha. It has given its name to this plot selection and has a particular geology. This soil is made up with sediments on a fine layer being on a granitic subsoil.
HARVEST: Grapes are hand-harvested to the limit of over-maturity. Due to their age, these vines give low yields.
WINEMAKING: Totally destemmed, the grapes ferment in concrete tanks. From one to two daily treadings ensure a good extraction. The temperature of fermentation does not exceed 32°C. Maceration lasts between 4 and 5 weeks, to obtain a polymerization of tannins. Only the free-run wine is used for this single vineyard.
MATURING: The wine is matured in oak casks (with a 30% average proportion of new ones) between 18 and 20 months. The clarification is natural.
COLOUR : deep garnet red with purple lights.
NOSE : tarry and smoky, raspberry, blackberry, walnut, liquorice.
MOUTH : complex, strong attack, velvety and balanced, long final, liquorice, tobacco, cocoa. According to the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years, indeed from 50 to 75 years
EROBERTPARKER VINTAGE 2014
The 2014 Ermitage le Pavillon is another wine from this team that defies the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated, impeccably balanced and seamless, with classic notes of crushed rocks, graphite, cassis and blackcurrants, it hits the palate with no hard edges, has a great mid-palate and possesses sweet tannin. Michel commented that this wine reminded him of the 1982, and while it offers pleasure even today, it won’t hit maturity for another decade.
Årgang 2018 "Coming all from the pure granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit, on the western side of Hermitage, the 2018 Ermitage Le Pavillon is 100% Syrah that was all destemmed and aged 18 months in just 15% new French oak. This beauty has closed down since bottling and will need considerable bottle age, but it’s a beauty. Deep purple-hued, with a meaty, gamey bouquet of black and blue fruits, crushed rock, liquid violets, olives, and acacia flowers, this sensational wine hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a tight, backward mouthfeel, present tannins, and a great finish. As I wrote last year, this isn't for those seeking instant gratification and a solid 7-8 years of bottle age are warranted, but I suspect it will earn a triple-digit score at maturity and should have 40-50 years of longevity."
Parkers Wine Advocate
Årgang 2018 “The 2018 Ermitage le Pavillon is a plush, full-bodied beauty that combines fruity notes of blueberries with savory notes of black olives and marries them together with rich, earthy notes. Almost creamy across the mid-palate, it finishes with soft waves of velvety tannins. I expect this will firm up a bit prior to bottling, then drink well for two decades."
Årgang 2018 “Suave, mineral- and spice-accented aromas of blackberry, cherry liqueur and pungent flowers show superb clarity and energetic lift. Sappy and penetrating in the mouth, displaying sharply defined black/blue fruit, violet pastille and spicecake flavors that turn livelier as the wine opens up. Finishes extremely long and minerally, with intense, spicy thrust, a repeating floral note and gently chewy tannins."
Årgang 2018 “This is silky with real tannic finesse and while it doesn't have the intensity of some vintages it has beautiful balance and purity with sweet plum, violets and blueberry."