Although little is produced, the light to medium amber-colored 2000 Ermitage Vin de Paille boasts an unctuous texture in addition to a gorgeous perfume of orange marmalade as well as truffles intertwined with crushed nuts; it is a wine of tremendous richness and moderate sweetness. All of this is balanced by good acidity. These wines are made from grapes harvested in late October/early November that are kept on straw mats for two months prior to being crushed and vinified. They can be drunk young, but based on historic examples tasted over the last quarter of a century, they will age for 50-100 years.
The name Chapoutier has been present in the Rhône Valley since 1808. In 1879, the distant ancestor Polydor Chapoutier was the first to begin to buy vines, thus moving from the status of wine-grower of an estate to that of a viticulturist, a wine producer and a businessman. Seven generations later, we find Michel, forty something, with a real passion for the expression of soils, at the head of this exceptional vineyard. This young, determined man has succeeded in combining the past with daring and creativity. Michel took the domaine entirely biodynamic and eschews the use of cultured yeasts. His favoured approach is to avoid the use of press wine.
Hermitage is a region that produces both red and white wines. Its famous red is made from 100% Syrah while the white is produced from Marsanne and/or Roussanne. A sweeter and very rare white wine is also produced from grapes that have been dried on straw before being pressed. A slighter warmer micro-climate enables Hermitage's red wines to have more ripeness and structure than Côte Rôtie which adds additional power and longevity. As a result, they are usually the most ‘masculine' styled reds in all of the northern Rhône.